White House

President Trump Invites 11-Year-Old Bullied For Last Name To State Of The Union

Once a year, the president gets an invitation to address both houses of Congress, as the Constitution requires, and lay out what the administration has in store for the year to come. It's pretty predictable in many ways. The president will get up and say that the state of the union is strong, and then continue to champion all the policy goals they've ever had.

Part of the pageantry of the State of the Union comes with the guests. They're political props, but they're also real people whose stories serve to support a president's position on various matters. This year, one of the guests is a young boy who deserves a whole lot better in his life.

With President Trump's second State of the Union address upon us, the White House has released its guest list.

Getty Images | Xinhua News Agency

All of the guests have compelling reasons for being there.

For instance, there's Grace Eline, a young force of positivity who raises donations for charity and who has already overcome a bout with brain cancer, or Timothy Matson, a Pittsburgh SWAT team member who was severely injured during the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

The youngest guest of the president will be a boy who shares his last name: Delaware's Joshua Trump.

YouTube | Inside Edition

The sixth-grader will be seated with Melania Trump, and with good reason.

Joshua has faced horrible bullying over his last name, and of course, Melania's most publicized cause as First Lady has been her anti-bullying campaign, Be Best.

Joshua's parents say he's been bullied ever since Donald announced his candidacy.

WPVI

"They curse at him, the call him an idiot, they call him stupid," his mother, Megan Trump, told WPVI. The family has no relation to the president.

When the bullying became too much, his parents pulled Joshua from class and homeschooled him for a year.

They hoped things would change after Joshua moved up to middle school, but they didn't.

WPVI

After a meeting with school officials, teachers went out of their way to avoid using Joshua's last name. That also didn't stop the bullying.

"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 said.

An investigation at the school identified five students responsible, who were disciplined.

White House

The students apologized, and the school changed Joshua's last name to Berto, his father's last name, in their system. Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer tweeted that Joshua had also been put on a different bus "where kids wouldn't know his last name."

Joshua is one of 4,788 people who share the Trump last name in America.

Facebook | The White House

That's according to Vox, citing Whitepages data. Many folks with the Trump surname report having to tread lightly in public when their name comes out.

But of course, the most bullied Trump of all lives in the White House.

Getty Images | Mandel Ngan

At least, that's what Melania told ABC News about herself in an interview following her visit to Africa.

"I could say that I'm the most bullied person in the world," she said. "One of them — if you really see what people are saying about me."

Other guests of the president include Tom Wibberley, father of Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, who was killed in the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

Facebook | The White House

Alice Johnson, to whom President Trump granted clemency over her mandatory life sentence in a non-violent drug case in June 2018; Matthew Charles, the first prisoner to be released as a result of the First Step Act after turning his life around in prison on a 35-year sentence for drug offenses; Ashley Evans, a recovering opioid addict; and Judah Samet, a survivor of the Tree of Life Synagogue attack as well as the Holocaust, are among the other guests.

h/t WPVI