BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- It’s hard to watch Keaton Jones plead with his middle school tormentors; the Tennessee student made an emotional video about the pain that bullying causes him.
The video has been viewed more than 47 million times, and it’s sparking a national dialogue over how to address bullying and why it continues to be such a problem.
“Most kids that are bullied do not tell anyone,” explained Prof. Amanda Nickerson, Director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at UB.
Nickerson said both victims and perpetrators of bullying face greater risks for anxiety, depression, and suicide as adults.
At 17, Noah Howard from Shinglehouse, Pa. has been dealing with bullying his whole life.
“Just being different in a small town in itself is really hard to do,” he said.
Noah was born without arms.
“There was no really medical explanation, it just kind of happened naturally.”
The Oswego Valley senior has been called names and ridiculed on social media.
It’s hard on Noah, but he said he won’t let it stop him. He’s planning to attend St. Bonaventure next year and wants to study journalism.
Noah, who is also an accomplished artist, does everything most people do with their hands, with his feet.
He told News 4 going to away college is validation that his bullies were wrong.
Like Keaton, Noah wants to speak out to help others feel strong.
Nickerson said parents have a real opportunity to support their kids.
“Talking early and often with them, not just about bullying but about how things are going at school and with friends and just being observers of what they see,” she said.