(NBC) An 11-year-old boy with the last name Trump will now be going by a different name at his Delaware middle school after being bullied by his peers.
His mother, Megan Trump Berto, told administrators at Talley Middle School in Wilmington, Delaware, that her son, Joshua, was being punched and bullied on a school bus because of his last name.
In a Dec. 6 Facebook post, Berto pleaded with parents whose children ride that school bus to discuss the topic of bullying.
“I had to sit down with my son and here [sic] him tell me that he hates himself and that he feels sad all the time,” Berto said.
The school’s principal, Mark Mayer, responded on Facebook to Berto’s comment that he was concerned about what allegedly occurred on the school bus and would contact her the following morning.
Mayer told NBC News on Wednesday that he spoke with Berto on Friday morning and accommodated her request that Joshua be switched to another school bus.
“The family at our open house night in September had shared with us that in prior years, he had had incidents at another school with his last name,” Mayer told NBC News. “As a group, we met with our sixth-grade team and made them aware of this particular challenge they brought to our attention.”
Mayer said Joshua’s sixth-grade teachers “were mindful so as to refer to him as Joshua T.,” from the start of the school year and that up until last week, it appeared that “things were going relatively well.”
When Mayer spoke with Berto on Friday, he said he learned of two separate incidents of bullying the boy told his mother he had endured, including one in a physical education class and another on a school bus on Dec. 6.
School officials said that as soon as they learned of the bullying they took action, including disciplining students found to be involved.
Mayer said he met earlier this week with Joshua, his stepfather and his mother.
The school is also providing additional support for Joshua, including mentoring, regular check-ins with school counselors, and a name change in the database so that all staff refer to him by his stepfather’s surname, Berto, instead of his mother’s.