Joshua Trump, 11, of Delaware, has been bullied for years because of his last name.
“He was being punched and bullied all because of his last name,” his mother, Megan Berto, wrote in a 2018 Facebook post.
She said that her son was switched to a new bus in an attempt to stop the bullying.
So my son used to ride bus 35 and I recently switched him to bus 36….because he was being punched and bullied all…
“I’d like to ask any parents who have children that ride those buses to please talk to them,” she added.
“I had to sit down with my son and hear him tell me that he hates himself and that he feels sad all the time. Why is this ok? The school won’t tell you about this but I am asking you to please talk to your children. In an age where our children are depressed and suicidal don’t let your kid be a bully.”
Joshua was named as one of two child guests of President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who has focused on anti-bullying efforts as part of her work as first lady.
“Joshua Trump is a 6th grade student in Wilmington, Delaware. He appreciates science, art, and history. He also loves animals and hopes to pursue a related career in the future,” according to a short statement posted by the White House.
“His hero and best friend is his Uncle Cody, who serves in the United States Air Force. Unfortunately, Joshua has been bullied in school due to his last name. He is thankful to the First Lady and the Trump family for their support.”
Trump was set to meet with his guests on Tuesday prior to the speech. The guests will sit in the audience.
Boy dumps Trump name over bullying at Delaware school. Whenever I think the insanity can’t get any worse, it gets worse. https://t.co/0znaKLPVvb
— Crankin64 (@RankinIrisheyes) December 13, 2018
The constant harassment since President Trump’s announcement in 2015 that he was running for president left Joshua’s family struggling to figure out what to do.
Megan Berto took her husband’s name when she got married but her son has always used his mother’s maiden name as his own.
Bobby Berto, the boy’s father, told WPVI that he pulled Joshua out of school to homeschool him for a year due to the brutal bullying.
Joshua was sent back to public school and any hopes that he would avoid bullying were dashed. “They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” the boy’s mother said. The parents got the school to change Joshua’s last name to Berto in the school’s system.
In December, an anti-bullying group gave support to Joshua, awarding him their Anti-Bullying Medal of Courage. “His story, while tragic over its content, provides greater awareness to many, as he now becomes a role model over the fact that you are who you are,” Claudio Cerullo, founder of Teach Anti Bullying, said in a statement.
Cerullo said that Joshua’s family told him that many of the students who bullied Joshua have apologized.
Cerullo advised Joshua’s parents not to change his last name because of the bullying, adding: “No one should have to change over the ridicule of your name.”
From NTD News