VIDEO. Joshua Trump, 11, harassed because of his last name, becomes a symbol

Joshua Trump was invited to the State of the Union address by his namesake. – HO / The White House / AFP

An additional Trump this year during the presidential address on the state of the Union. Mistreated for months by children who blamed him for his last name, the young Joshua Trump left his school and nearly changed his surname, before being invited to Washington by Melania Trump who made it a symbol of his fight against the harassment. Tuesday night, he was to attend, in the precincts of the American Congress, to one of the most prestigious moments of the American political life.

Since the end of Donald Trump's campaign, the boy from Wilmington, Delaware, wore the name of a family that can now trigger a physical reaction in some Americans. "I was bored a lot," said the 11-year-old boy on the show Inside Edition in December. "They said to me, are you from Trump's family? And I answered them: do you think I would be here if I were from his family? "

His parents even decided to take him out of school in 2017 and give him home schooling before he returned to school to start the college equivalent. But it was enough for one of his teachers to make the call, from the first day, for the nightmare to start again for Joshua Albert Trump. His mother said he had changed school bus line to try to escape the children who verbally attacked him, but again, the driver asked him, from the first trip, to decline his identity.

A medal of "courage"

"He said he hated himself and he hated his family name," his mother, Megan Trump, was saying in a report from the local ABC channel. "He feels perpetually sad and does not want to live with that impression anymore," she added. "For a mother, it's terrifying."

Since then, the school has asked its teachers to no longer pronounce Joshua's family name and, after investigation, said he had disciplined five students, who apologized for harassing the boy. "It has come to a point where he and the school have decided that he will change his name", to take that of his father, Berto, told AFP Claudio Cerullo, founder of the website TeachAntiBullying.org ( "Learning to Fight Harassment"), who has been in contact with Joshua. "But we encouraged him not to do it."

The organization of Claudio Cerullo publicly awarded him a medal in mid-December to salute his "courage", which earned TeachAntiBullying.org to be contacted mid-January by the White House, in search of Joshua.

"Trump should apologize for making his life so difficult"

Tuesday, Joshua will be among the guests of Melania Trump in the US Congress in Washington for the solemn speech of the President on the state of the Union. The First Lady has made harassment among children one of her great causes even if, beyond a few public appearances and round tables, her program has produced few concrete initiatives so far. "I hope this will open the eyes of more people on this subject, because it does not concern only Joshua Trump," says Claudio Cerullo.

Remains the paradox of the presidential couple, Melania fighting against harassment while her husband does not hesitate to publicly attack many personalities and anonymous. "The First Lady is in a very difficult position," concedes Mr. Cerullo, who says he hopes she has "a lot of influence over her husband."

"Trump should apologize for making Joshua Trump's life so difficult during the State of the Union speech," said Dean Obeidallah, the only Muslim radio host to have a prime-time show in the US . "If Trump was not racist, sexist, sectarian and did not lie continuously," he insisted, "the existence of young Joshua would not be so complicated. "