11-Year-Old Forced to Change “Trump” Last Name Due to Bullying at School
An 11-year-old boy’s parents raised their fears with staff at Talley Middle School in Delaware about their son’s safety last week. The elementary school student had to leave school, get homeschooled for a year, and then change his “Trump” last name in order to stop relentless bullying that lasted for more than two years, his parents have revealed.
Joshua Trump, a student at Talley Middle School in Wilmington who is not related to the 45th president, started getting teased by classmates when Donald Trump first announced plans to run for the White House in June 2015.
Megan Trump, the boy’s mother, said that other children cursed at her son, called him an “idiot” and called him “stupid” because of his name, local news outlet WPVI reported.
The bullying was so bad that Joshua’s parents decided to pull him out of school as a result.
“He was getting ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump,” Joshua’s father Bobby Berto said. “I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him for a year.”
Joshua’s parents had assumed that the bullying would subside as their son moved into middle school, but those hopes were soon dashed, they said, as not much had changed.
Even after a year of homeschooling, the bullying has risen to such aggressive and troubling levels since Joshua Trump’s return to the classroom that officials in the Brandywine School District have agreed to let him use his father’s surname instead, WPVI reports.
Trump and Berto met with school officials to discuss their son’s previous issues with his name. Principal Mark Mayer acknowledged that the boy’s last name has become an issue at the 800-student school, with some educators taking steps to not even say it aloud.
“I do know the teachers were aware of the last name, and I know in speaking with the student that the teachers do their very best to try not to say his last name,” the Principal of Talley Middle School, Mark Mayer said.
Mayer also said that five students were identified during an investigation into the bullying claims. They have been recently disciplined for bullying Joshua, Mayer said.
“They were apologetic and they did say that they were sorry,” he said.
One other way the school has addressed the issue is by changing Joshua’s last name in the school system to Berto, his father’s last name.
In addition to the name change in the school’s records, officials at Talley Middle School are working to get Trump extra support so he can easily report any future incidents.
Still, Megan Trump is worried about her son’s mental health in the aftermath of the meeting with school officials, which didn’t completely stop the bullying, she said.
“He said he hates himself, and he hates his last name, and he feels sad all the time, and he doesn’t want to live feeling like that anymore, and as a parent, that’s scary,” Megan Trump explained the reason why she and her husband decided to speak out.
Mark Mayer, the principal of Talley Middle School, said teachers would now be addressing Josh by a different last name, and admitted his administration is aware of the bullying.
Trump supporters, horrified by the news, flocked to social media to urge President Trump to invite Josh to the White House for a visit.
YOU PEOPLE NEED TO STOP! That child nor anybody else containing the last name Trump should be targeted just because of a name. How dare you bully anybody over a name that they were given by mere birth! I'm sure if we all done some digging we could find trash on all last names!— Rose Walker (@19Rose68) December 12, 2018
I would be proud of that name! No way I would have changed it— Trump’s Jen⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@DonnaRo86165010) December 13, 2018