Delaware boy named Joshua Trump asks school to change his last name following bullying claims

An 11-year-old Delaware boy with the last name Trump will be addressed by a different name in school going forward after his name led to constant teasing, according to a report. Joshua Trump has no family ties to the sitting U.S. president but their shared surname has caused trouble for the boy, his parents told WPVI. “He … Continue reading “Delaware boy named Joshua Trump asks school to change his last name following bullying claims”

An 11-year-old Delaware boy with the last name Trump will be addressed by a different name in school going forward after his name led to constant teasing, according to a report.

Joshua Trump has no family ties to the sitting U.S. president but their shared surname has caused trouble for the boy, his parents told WPVI.

“He was getting ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump,” his father, Bobby Berto, told the outlet.

His mother, Megan Trump, claimed her son was being verbally harassed.

"They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid," she told WPVI.

The situation reportedly arose after Donald Trump launched his bid for the White House. Afterwards, "I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him for a year," Berto told the outlet.

Joshua later was enrolled at Talley Middle School at the start of the current school year and his parents spoke to administration officials, WPVI reported.

Talley Middle School Principal Mark Mayer told Fox News he’d met with Joshua’s parents at an open-house night and they shared that the 6th grader had experienced some challenges at his previous school due to his last name.

That information was communicated to the school’s 6th-grade team as something to be mindful of, Mayer said, adding that they decided to refer to the boy as Joshua T., instead of Joshua Trump, during daily roll call.

"I do know the teachers were aware of the 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," Mayer told WPVI.

On Dec. 5, Joshua’s parents told school officials about two separate incidents that had occurred – one in class and another on the bus – involving different groups of kids, Mayer told Fox News. Neither event pertained to the boy’s last name, he said.

Officials opened an investigation into the incidents, during which they determined the identities of the students involved, according to Mayer. Their families were notified and they subsequently apologized, he said.

That same day, in response to the bus incident, Joshua’s mother asked the school district’s transportation company to change the bus her son takes, Mayer said.

When he boarded the bus on Thursday, the driver requested the 11-year-old’s first and last name for confirmation, which is something the drivers are supposed to do, the principal added. After Joshua complied, the kids allegedly laughed and teased him, Mayer said.

Joshua’s mom brought the incident to the school’s attention, via a post on its Facebook page, according to Mayer. A meeting was set up that included Joshua’s parents, the 6th-grade counselor, a behavioral health specialist and himself, the principal said.

During the meeting, it was decided that Joshua’s last name would be changed in the school system, a message which was relayed to the teachers, Mayer said. The boy will be adopting his father’s surname of Berto, WPVI reported.

The “whole thing” was “unfortunate,” Mayer said.

Santa Claus takes a knee to thank World War II veteran in heartwarming viral photo

If there had been any question about it before, it was clear Saturday that 93-year-old World War II veteran Bob Smiley had been good, for goodness sake.

Even Santa Claus confirmed it.

Smiley and Santa were captured in a picture-perfect moment at the Concord Mall in Wilmington, Delaware, as St. Nick got down on one knee and thanked Smiley for his service.

“I hear Santa telling the gentleman, in a soft voice, of others he knew who served. He shakes his hand with genuine gratefulness thanking him for his service,” Gina Wilbur, who took the picture, wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

Members of Smiley’s family spotted the viral photo as it made the rounds on Facebook and reached out to Wilbur because they were so moved by the image.

Santa and Smiley reunited Thursday.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to men like this that have made such a life-changing decision to give of themselves, be willing to lay down their life even, for other people,” Santa told FOX29 Philadelphia.

Smiley said that, for his generation, service was more about “duty” than sacrifice.

“We all went, we all served,” he said. “Every boy in my high school graduating class all served. Out of 35 boys, five were killed and they were my friends for 13 years of my life.”

Smiley said he truly appreciates when people thank him for his service.

“I try to show my appreciation when they do thank me,” he said. “I thank them for thinking about us.”

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

Delaware Memorial Bridge reopens after chemical leak forces closure, snarling holiday weekend traffic

The Delaware Memorial Bridge — a heavily traveled span that serves as a key conduit for East Coast traffic — reopened Sunday evening after being closed more than six hours following a potentially "catastrophic" chemical leak at a nearby chemical plant.

The closure brought vehicles to a standstill in both directions on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The leaked chemical, ethylene oxide, is a highly flammable gas that is a finished product stemming from methanol, Holloway Terrace Fire Company Public Information Officer George Greenley said.

"If that flume would have had an ignition source it could have been catastrophic with the bridge traffic," he said.

A gas leak has shut down the Delaware Memorial Bridge in both directions Sunday night for more than six hours. (Delaware River and Bay Authority via AP)

The Delaware chemical production facility Croda Atlas Point was recently expanded to produce two tons of ethylene oxide per hour, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The bridge closed around 5 p.m. and reopened about 11:30 p.m. Croda operators requested it be shut down, the Delaware River and Bay Authority tweeted.

Greenley said prior to the reopening that fire officials were waiting for pressure to dissipate in the pipes at the facility before allowing travel to resume on the span.

During the closure, traffic was diverted to other crossings, including the Commodore Barry Bridge to the north, causing what the authority called a "parking lot" situation to disperse to other clogged roadways.

The bridge, where more than 80,000 vehicles make the crossing daily, carries Interstate 295 traffic on eight lanes over the southern reaches of the Delaware River between northern Delaware and southern New Jersey.

Virginia House Delegate Lashrecse Aird was stuck in the traffic jam on her way home to Virginia from New York. She said she had surpassed the usual six-hour holiday commute, and her GPS told her she had more than three hours to go.

A police vehicle and a hazardous-materials truck were blocking the bridge when she approached. She was at a standstill for an hour before being redirected, she said.

Greenley said emergency responders are monitoring air levels on top of the bridge. It wasn't immediately clear when the plant would be returned to full production, according to the Inquirer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.