Mistreated for months by other children who blamed him for his surname, Joshua Trump changed schools, then almost surname, before being invited to Washington by Melania Trump, who made it a symbol of his struggle against harassment.
Since the end of Donald Trump’s campaign, the boy from Wilmington, Delaware, wore the family name he did not choose, which is now able to trigger a physical reaction in some Americans.
“I was very annoyed,” said the 11-year-old boy on “Inside Edition” in December. “They said to me, ‘Are you from Trump’s family?’ And I said to them, ‘Do you think I would be here if I were from his family?’
Joshua will be among the guests of Melania Trump in the US Congress in Washington for the solemn speech of the President on the state of the Union.
His parents even decided to take him out of school in 2017 and give him homeschooling before returning to school to start the college equivalent. But it was enough for one of his teachers to make the call, from the first day, for the nightmare to start again for Joshua Albert Trump.
His mother said he had changed school bus line to try to escape the children who verbally attacked him, but again, the driver asked him, from the first trip, to decline his identity.
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“He said he hated himself and he hated his last name,” his mother, Megan Trump, was saying in a report from the local ABC channel. “He feels perpetually sad and does not want to live with that impression anymore,” she added. “For a mother, it’s terrifying.”
Since then, the school has asked its teachers to no longer pronounce Joshua’s family name and, after investigation, said he had disciplined five students, who apologized for harassing the boy.
Delaware, wore the family name he did not choose, which is now able to trigger a physical reaction in some Americans.
“It has come to a point where he and the school have decided that he will change his name”, to take that of his father, Berto, told AFP Claudio Cerullo, founder of the website TeachAntiBullying.org ( “Learn to Fight Harassment”), who has been in contact with Joshua. “But we encouraged him not to do it.”
The organization of Claudio Cerullo publicly awarded him a medal in mid-December to salute his “courage”, which earned TeachAntiBullying.org to be contacted in mid-January by the White House, in search of Joshua.
Tuesday, Joshua will be among the guests of Melania Trump in the US Congress in Washington for the solemn speech of the President on the state of the Union. The First Lady has made harassment among children one of her great causes, even if, beyond a few public appearances and roundtables, her program has produced few concrete initiatives so far.
“I hope this will open the eyes of more people on this subject because it does not concern only Joshua Trump,” says Claudio Cerullo. Remains the paradox of the presidential couple, Melania fighting against harassment while her husband does not hesitate to publicly attack many personalities and anonymous.
“The First Lady is in a very difficult position,” concedes Cerullo, who nevertheless says she hopes she has “a lot of influence over her husband”.