President Trump invites 11-year-old boy who was bullied for his name to State of the Union

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

There will be many Trumps in the House chamber for the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night – but one Trump is not in the family. He's Joshua Trump, an 11-year-old boy from Delaware who was bullied over the last name he shares with the president. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump invited the sixth grader to attend as their guest.

The boy was bullied over his name so much that his parents tried homeschooling him for a while. In December, Joshua Trump opened up to Inside Edition about the treatment from his classmates. "When the teacher would say, 'Joshua Trump, are you here?' Everybody would laugh except my friends," he said.

The surname Trump is actually his mom's maiden name, so the boy decided he would start going by his father's last name, Berto, Inside Edition reports. "I'm tired of the bullying," Joshua said. "I just want it to stop."

Inside Edition spoke with the 11-year-old after he reported that he was getting bullied and wanted to change his last name. Inside Edition

The school investigated the situation after a meeting with the boy's parents, Talley Middle School Principal Mark Mayer told Inside Edition. The school agreed to change Joshua's last name to Berto in their system and they are working to insure Joshua is comfortable reporting any future incidents of bullying.

Sharing a surname with the president may have caused the boy pain in the past, but he is now being recognized for it. The White House press office announced the president's list of State of the Union guests on Monday, and Joshua Trump is on it.

In a statement, the White House described the sixth grader as a boy who appreciates science, art and history, and said his "hero and best friend is his Uncle Cody, who serves in the United States Air Force." It also said Joshua is thankful to the president and first lady for their support.

Bullying is an issue that first lady Melania Trump is passionate about. Her "Be Best" campaign focuses on well-being and bullying prevention efforts for young children across the country, and she once said she considers herself to be one of the "most bullied" people in the world.

The president and first lady's guest list also includes Alice Johnson, who was granted clemency by President Trump after Kim Kardashian called attention to her case. Timothy Matson, a member of the Pittsburgh SWAT team that responded to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, and Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor and member of the Tree of Life congregation, are also on the list.

You can watch the State of the Union address tonight on CBS News. CBSN special coverage starts at 5 p.m. ET, and the address begins 9 p.m. ET.

First published on February 5, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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