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Eleven-year-old Joshua Trump is changing his name after being bullied by his classmates.
Megan Trump Berto and Bobby Berto of Claymont, Del., say their son Joshua began having a rough time in the Brandywine School District when President Trump starting running for office. “They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” Megan Berto, who is not related to President Trump, told Philadelphia news station WPVI on Tuesday.
“He was getting ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump,” said stepfather Bobby Berto.
Joshua was homeschooled for a year, but in September, he entered Talley Middle School in Wilmington, Del., where the teasing continued.
Megan and Bobby reached out to WPVI because they believed that the Brandywine School District wasn’t intervening, despite previous meetings with Joshua’s teachers. “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 Berto told WPVI.
Principal Mark Mayer tells Yahoo Lifestyle that when Joshua started school, his parents were worried. “We discussed ideas such as, during roll call, the teacher would say ‘Joshua T.’ instead of ‘Trump,'” he says.
Last week, Megan and Bobby Berto told the school that Joshua was being teased in the gym and hit on the bus, allegedly for reasons unrelated to his name. “We disciplined the children involved and agreed to switch Joshua to a new bus,” says Mayer. “On Thursday, when the new bus driver took attendance, the kids started chanting, ‘Trump Trump’ and ‘Dump Trump.'”
Mayer says the family complained on the school’s Facebook page and on Tuesday, a meeting was called to discuss solutions. “The family is trying to legally change Joshua’s name, but in the meantime, we switched his name to Berto in the school system,” says Mayer. “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.”
Megan and Bobby Berto did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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