Melania Trump Brought DC Kids to the White House to Watch an Anti-Bullying Movie

She showed them "Wonder" in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin.

Melania Trump hosted children from the DC charter school Digital Pioneers Academy in the White House movie theater Tuesday afternoon, where she showed them Wonder, a film about a young boy with a severe facial deformity who endures people bullying him about his appearance. According to Trump’s office, she selected the film because of its messaging of “choosing kindness”; Tuesday’s event was the first time she saw the film in full.

Before the film, thirty sixth-graders munched on popcorn and presidential M&M’s. “As you may know, October is National Bullying Prevention Month and I encourage everybody to be kind to each other, to treat each other with respect in everyday life and social media. Can you do that? Yes? Very good,” Trump said.

The movie’s message fits with the themes of Trump’s Be Best campaign, an anti-bullying initiative that urges children and adults to “choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion.”

“I’m well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic,” Trump said during a summit with tech leaders in March. She recently described herself as the world’s “most bullied person.”

Trump took no questions from reporters present on Tuesday. She was joined by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who made no remarks to the children before the film. According to the White House, the Department of Education selected the school, where DeVos made a “surprise” visit in August; the Department of Education subsequently featured the school on its blog earlier this month.

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Brittany Shepherd joined Washingtonian as a staff writer in June 2018. She previously covered the White House for Independent Journal Review. She currently lives in Navy Yard.