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A 14-year-old Florida boy committed suicide in his school’s bathroom last week, and according to his mother it’s because of the bullying that was inflicted upon him by fellow students.

“The hopelessness was overwhelming,” Shaniqua Hawkins, the mother of LamarShaq” Hawkins III, said.

Lamar, whose health issues stunted his growth, was found dead at Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Lake Mary, last Wednesday with a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the sheriff’s department, the death is under investigation to see if bullying was involved.

From Reuters:

The boy’s parents met with the school administration about the bullying multiple times, including as recently as two to three weeks before the suicide, said Matt Morgan, a lawyer for the family. Lamar killed himself with his father’s gun, which Morgan said was properly stored.

Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Walt Griffin said in a statement that he was aware that the family maintains that the boy killed himself after being bullied but could not comment while a sheriff’s investigation was underway.

“This is a very tragic circumstance and our hearts and prayers remain with the family during this difficult time. … The school board has a comprehensive bullying policy that is fully enforced in all of our schools,” Griffin said.

Shaniqua Hawkins said the family moved from New York City two years ago to get Lamar away from bullies who picked on him at his school there.

Morgan said the boy was about 4 feet 6 inches tall and weighed less than 80 pounds. The family nicknamed him after retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal for his big personality and grand outlook on life, Shaniqua Hawkins said.

Shaniqua Hawkins said bullies pushed Lamar down stairs and off his chair in the school cafeteria, and mocked him for his small stature.

“We now know that he was unable to continue his fight against the bullies. They won … I believe he took his life at school to send a message to these bullies that they were to blame for his suffering,” Shaniqua Hawkins said at the news conference.

Our thoughts are with the Hawkins family. It’s a shame that this beautiful child had to deal with cruelty.

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  • Curls&Swirls

    My stomach dropped reading this :-( What needs to be done to help these kids understand that they don’t have to kill themselves when they’re bullied?? Prayers to the family and for all the kids that suffer from bullying…my heart aches. I know all too well the thoughts and feelings from the effects of bullying.

  • Mr. Man

    Wow this is tragic and really hurts.
    So sorry for this family. I’m begining to have a totally different perspective of child suicide.
    I was a strong believer of the thought that children today are simply weak minded, incapable of handling resistance from their peers. That view is very narrow minded, we no longer live in the 60’s and 70’s when society wasnt so potent. Society today is much different than when were kids, its more stressful, much more violent, much more cruel, evil, merciless than its ever been and our poor inexperienced children quite often right in the thick of it never standing a chance. I’m begining to believe that many of us adults /parents or out of touch with this reality as it relates to our children’s experiences. Our parents told us we were to suck it up, that words never hurt, that these things will never kill you so ignore them, this is only a level one coping mechanism and mostly all that was needed back in the day and mostly all that most parents know to teach currently. Our children’s lives/blood is screaming out us that the current bulling protocol is grossly deficient. We need to expire the methods of yesterday and get with the dog-gon program and be more proactive and save our children.