An 11-year-old Delaware boy who has the same last name as Donald Trump, but who is not related to the 45th president, has endured such bullying from his classmates that he’s changing his name, Yahoo News is reporting.
Joshua Trump’s mother and father, Megan Trump Berto and Bobby Berto, say that the young lad started getting bullied for his name as soon as Donald Trump announced he was running for president.
“They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid… He was getting ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump.”
When the bullying started, Joshua was in elementary school, according to WPVI-TV (Philadelphia). His parents home-schooled him for his final year of elementary school, thinking that when he entered middle school at Wilmington’s Talley Middle School the bullying would stop.
It did not.
Talley Principal Mark Mayer admits that the boy’s bullying is a problem, but that the school is working on it. Mostly that has consisted of teachers trying to avoid using his last name, preferring instead to, for example, say “Joshua T.” during roll call instead of using his full name. Mayer also admits that some students have been disciplined in connection with bullying incidents involving Joshua, but due to public schools’ requirements to protect their students’ privacy, he’s unable to say more.
“We disciplined the children involved and agreed to switch Joshua to a new bus.”
Switching him to a different bus didn’t help. As soon as the kids on the bus learned his name, says his mother, they were chanting “Dump Trump! Dump Trump!”
So frustrated with the lack of progress being made at Joshua’s school that the family contacted local ABC affiliate WPVI in the hope that media attention would put pressure on the school to actually do something meaningful.
Meanwhile, the family appears to have concluded that this is a battle that can’t be won as long as Josh uses the last name “Trump.” To that end, they are in the process of legally changing his name. But for now, he’s using his father’s last name.
“The family is trying to legally change Joshua’s name, but in the meantime, we switched his name to Berto in the school system. That way, even substitute teachers will have the right information. Kids need to be kind and Joshua needs to feel good about who he is at school.”