This sixth-grader named Trump has been bullied so much by his classmates he’d like a new name
Donald Trump is one of America's most polarizing presidents, stirring up fawning adoration from supporters and furious outrage from critics. As a result, his rallies became a cultural phenomenon, a magnet for both tribes to face off and yell at each other. It's the perfect microcosm of our country, poisoned by bitter partisan politics.
The name Trump stirs such emotion that it's even affected an 11-year-old child in Wilmington, Delaware. This week, news outlets reported that Joshua Trump has been bulled at school because he shares the same last name as the 45th United States president.
"They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid," his mother, Megan Trump Berto, told ABC affiliate WPVI.
The bullying began during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, at which point Joshua's stepfather pulled him out of school to be educated at home. The parents thought that the problems would not continue when Joshua started sixth grade at Talley Middle School. They even proactive steps, like meeting with school officials and teachers in advance to discuss this issue.
However, none of those preventative tactics worked. The harassment persisted, and has taken a serious toll on Joshua, who is not related to Donald Trump. "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," stated Joshua’s mother.
The principal, Mark Mayer, said that they have disciplined five students, who were found to be involved in bullying Joshua. "They were apologetic and they did say that they were sorry," he told local reporters. "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."
Last Friday, Mayer spoke with Joshua's mother, and she informed him about two separate incidents of bullying. One took place during a physical education class; the other took place on a school bus, and included Joshua getting punched. As a result, the school has agreed to change Joshua's last name to his stepfather's surname, Berto, in their system. Also, they will provide him with additional support, such as mentoring and regular check-ins with school counsellors.
We all remember what it was like in school, where you might be teased or attacked for the slightest perceived flaw. Your height, weight, skin color, hair color, clothing - virtually anything can make you a target in the eyes of bullies. Now even having the same last name as the president can lead to persecution. As our politicians act more belligerent, churlish and vindictive, so do our children. Is it any surprise? Role models appear to be in short supply these days. Do you recall any stories about children getting bullied for having the last name Obama?