Joshua Trump, a 6th grade Delaware student bullied by his fellow students for sharing a last name with President Donald Trump, has been invited by the White House to attend the State of the Union address.
“Unfortunately, Joshua has been bullied in school due to his last name,” read a statement from the office of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. “He is thankful to the First Lady and the Trump family for their support.”
First lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative focuses on the physical and mental health of children, including reducing bullying.
The 11-year-old made news in December when he reportedly started going by Joshua Berto, his father’s surname, in an attempt to stave off bullying from classmates. (RELATED: Melania Opens Up About Raising Barron, Anti-Bullying Campaign: ‘Sometimes You Have To Fight Back’)
“They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” his mother, Megan Trump, told ABC.
At one point, Joshua’s father, Bobby Berto, homeschooled his son for a year because of the bullying.
The Pennsylvania-based group Teach Anti-Bullying awarded Joshua the “Medal of Courage” in December and encouraged him to keep his name.
No one should change their name for anyone! Period! https://t.co/OK7cJKKF3t
— Teach Anti Bullying (@TeachAntiBully1) December 18, 2018
Joshua Trump will join other notable guests of the president and first lady, including holocaust survivor Judah Samet, freed prisoners Alice Johnson and Matthew Charles, and child cancer survivor Grace Eline.