After much delay and deliberation because of last month’s government shutdown, President Trump will finally deliver his State of the Union speech tonight.
In the crowd to hear him there will be senators, members of congress, Supreme Court justices, and other political heavyweights.
But, by tradition, a few specially picked guests who highlight issues affecting the country are also invited to attend. Joshua Trump, a sixth grade student from Delaware, is one of the lucky few who will attend tonight’s speech.
In a statement issued by the White House on Monday, the president and First Lady Melania Trump listed Joshua, 11, along with a dozen other guests.
“Unfortunately,” the statement read, “Joshua has been bullied in school due to his last name.”
While Joshua is not related to the first family, his mother, Megan Trump Berto, told local news station WPVI that his surname made him a target for other boys at school.
“They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” she said.
“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.”
Trump Berto revealed the situation became so bad that at one point Joshua considered changing his last name.
The White House’s profile of Joshua also included more positive aspects about his life: the middle-schooler is apparently interested in science, art, history, and animals.
Since entering the White House, Melania has made bullying one of her key issues, and launched a campaign called Be Best to encourage “positive social, emotional, and physical habits.”
Other guests invited by President Trump include 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, the grandmother who was pardoned by the president for a nonviolent drug offense after Kim Kardashian met with Trump on her behalf.
Survivors and police officers involved in last year’s shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh will also be in attendance.
Last year, during President Trump’s State of the Union address, a “mystery boy” sitting beside Melania caused a stir as some viewers mistook him for Barron Trump.
Instead, he turned out to be 12-year-old Preston Sharp, who had been invited to attend the speech for his hours of volunteer work planting more than 40,000 flags at tombstones in military cemeteries.
[H/T: NBC News]