President Donald Trump and Melania Trump have invited 11-year-old Joshua Trump to the State of the Union on Feb. 5, as the first lady’s plus one, after the 6th grader was bullied in school for his last name.
On Monday, February 4, the White House revealed its 13 special guests who will join President Donald Trump, 72, and first lady Melania Trump, 48, for Tuesday night’s State of the Union. One of the invited guests is 11-year-old Joshua Trump, a Delaware sixth grader who made headlines last December after he was bullied in school for his last name. Although the young boy has no relation to the President, his parents previously told Philadelphia news station WPVI, they were reportedly in the process of changing their son’s name because he was bullied so terribly.
“Joshua Trump is a 6th-grade student in Wilmington, Delaware,” the White House said in a press release on February 4. “He appreciates science, art and history. He also loves animals and hopes to pursue a related career in the future. 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.”
Joshua will be the plus one of the first lady, whose Be Best campaign focuses on stopping bullying. The mission “encourages children to BE BEST in their individual paths, while also teaching them the importance of social, emotional, and physical health.”
Other guests invited by the president include a 9-year-old cancer survivor; a former prisoner released through the First Step Act; and a survivor of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, as well as a first responder who was wounded during the synagogue attack.
Last December, Joshua and his family made headlines after his parents, Megan Trump Berto and Bobby Berto decided to go public with their story. “They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” Megan Berto told Philadelphia news station, WPVI, of the Joshua’s fellow students bullying him.
“He was getting ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump,” Joshua’s stepfather Bobby Berto said. The parents added that the bullying started when Donald Trump began running for office.
The couple even homeschooled Joshua for a year. However, when he entered Talley Middle School in Wilmington, Delaware, last September, Megan and Bobby decided to enroll Joshua back into the school system because they thought things would change. “New school, new start,” Bobby told the outlet of their decision.
Before Joshua started middle school, his parents notified the school about his past issues with bullying. However, the bullying did not stop. “He said he hates himself and he hates his last name and he’s sad all the time and he does not want to live feeling like that anymore, and as a parent, that’s scary,” Joshua’s mother said.