Mom Says Boy Who Shot Himself In School Bathroom Was Severely Bullied By Classmates
Last Wednesday, Shaniqua Hawkins reported that her son, Lamar Hawkins III, whom relatives affectionately referred to as Shaq, was missing. Later that evening, the eighth grader was found inside a bathroom stall at the Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Florida. Seminole County authorities say that he shot himself in the head with a handgun that belonged to his father, the New York Daily News reports. In a press conference addressing the passing of her son, Shaniqua tearfully revealed that the 14-year-old had been a victim of bullying for years.
“They pushed him down stairs, knocked him out of his chair in the cafeteria, mocked him due to his size,” she revealed. “I believe he took his life at school to send a message to these bullies. They won, because he took his life as a result.”
Shaniqua was joined in the conference by her family’s attorney Matt Morgan and husband, Lamar Hawkins Jr., who added that the bullying was reported to school officials “multiple times” to no avail. A spokesperson from the Seminole County Sheriffs Department revealed that they never received reports about the teen being bullied from the school district.
“Our hearts are broken and our lives are forever changed. Shaq is gone,” said the grieving mother.
“The child was a relatively small child for his age due to complications early in life,” attorney Matt Morgan said in a statement. “As a result, he became a very easy target for mean-spirited bullies.”
As for the weapon Lamar III used to take his life, Matt says that it was stored in full compliance with state law, which requires that it be securely placed in a locked container or in a reasonably secure location.
The Hawkins family is currently raising money online to assist with funeral costs and other expenses relating to Lamar’s tragic passing. The Greenwood Lakes Middle School has declined to comment on the tragic incident.
This story is truly heartbreaking. We send our prayers to this family during their time of bereavement.