The daily torment of an 11-year-old boy at Delaware’s Talley Middle School has gotten so bad the child’s parents changed his last name to thwart his bullies.
“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,” the boy’s mother, Megan Trump, told WPVI.
Joshua Trump’s problems started in elementary school, when the 45th president announced his candidacy, but the boy’s parents thought things might be different in middle school.
“He was being ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump,” said Bobby Berto, Joshua’s father. “I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him for a year.”
Joshua’s parents met with school officials and teachers ahead of the school year to warn them about the boy’s past problems.
“New school, new start,” Berto said.
But the parents contend the Brandywine School District has done little to help their son, and the issues have only gotten worse.
“They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” Megan Trump said.
“I do know the teacher were aware of his 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,” Tally Middle School Principal Mark Mayer told WPVI.
Mayer recently met with Joshua’s parents, then launched an investigation that identified five students who were disciplined for bullying, he said.
“They were apologetic and they did say they were sorry,” Mayer said.
The school agreed to change Joshua’s last name on school records to his father’s last name – Berto.
Officials are also making it easier for the boy to report future incidents of bullying.
In other places, it’s not just kids targeting students for their association with the president.
Trump-supporting students were ridiculed by a biology teacher at McNeil High School in Round Rock, Texas in August. Parents told KHOU the teacher professed a hatred for the president before mocking students who disagreed with her perspective.
“She said, ‘By the way, I hate Donald Trump with a burning passion and his is a complete douchebag’ to a class full of seniors in high school,” said one student’s mother, who did not want to be identified.
The woman said her son isn’t shy about his political views, which prompted the teacher to call her son and his friends a “bunch of Trumpies.”
“She looked over and she said, ‘Oh, it seems like I have a table full of Trumpies over there,’” the mother said.
“Then she continued to call my son ‘Trumpy’ as opposed to his name. If she had a question, she said ‘Hey, Trumpy, do you have an answer to this,’ or, ‘What do you think, Trumpy?’”
The Round Rock school district placed the teacher on leave and launched an investigation after parents filed a formal complaint. The “angry” teacher was reassigned to administrative duties, and parents said they would prefer if she didn’t come back to class, Fox News reports.