A Florida middle school student is dead after committing suicide in the bathroom last week after being constantly bullied at school.
Lamar Hawkins, III used his father’s gun to shoot himself at Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Lake Mary, Florida.
His mother, Shaniqua Hawkins, said that her son had stunted growth and his family believes that made him an easy target for bullies. The family had moved from New York to Florida to escape bullying, but Lamar still became a victim.
His mother said that he was pushed down stairs, mocked and knocked out of his chair. She told WESH:
“I felt paralyzed by the inability to make the bullying stop at school. I watched him walk out the door of our home and knew there was a very good chance others would be cruel to him.”
Lamar used his father’s gun, which the family says was stored properly, to shoot himself in the bathroom on September 10. Officers found his body after the family had searched for four hours.
Following Lamar’s death, a parent of another Greenwood Lakes student said that her son had also been a victim of bullying and was a friend to Lamar. Melissa Gusaeff said her son ate lunch with Lamar just hours before he took his life.
“Lamar had gotten into a fight with “bullies” in the cafeteria the day before and had grown tired of the ongoing verbal and physical abuse,” she said.
Seminole County Schools Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin released the following statement:
“This is a very tragic circumstance and our hearts and prayers remain with the family during this difficult time. We are aware the family held a press conference this morning and allegations of bullying were discussed. The School Board has a comprehensive bullying policy that is fully enforced in all of our schools. We must remind everyone that this is an ongoing law enforcement investigation and Seminole County Public Schools has cooperated fully from the beginning as the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office works diligently to gather the facts surrounding this tragedy. The school district remains firmly committed to assisting the family, our students, faculty and staff with support as they continue to grieve and heal. Additional counselors are in place at the school and will remain for as long as necessary.”
Our hearts are with his family.