Family of 14-year-old boy who killed himself files $15K lawsuit alleging bullying

 

The family of a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide at his Florida school last year have filed a $15,000 lawsuit alleging the school knew their son was being bullied but did nothing about it.

Lamar Hawkins III used his father’s gun to kill himself in a bathroom at the Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Lake Mary on September 10, 2014.

His family said the boy, who was small for his age due to health complications earlier in his life, was relentlessly bullied for years.

The lawsuit filed against the Seminole County School Board alleges Lamar was regularly and openly hurled with verbal and physical assaults by his peers in an ‘open, notorious and protracted pattern of bullying,’ according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Matt Morgan, the family’s attorney, said the school didn’t do enough the protect Lamar from the constant abuse that his parents say drove him to end his life.

Shaniqua Hawkins, the boy’s mother, said at a press conference following his death that she felt powerless to help her son.

Hawkins said the bullies would push him down the stairs, knock him out of his chair and mock him at lunch, she told WFTV in an interview last year.

‘Many students would be just down right cruel to him,’ she said.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office conducted dozens of interviews following Lamar’s suicide and discovered both he and his twin sister had been picked on and called names.

They found that Lamar had only been physically harmed once, during a lunch room fight that occurred just two days before he took his life.

Lamar was punched by a boy who had teased his twin sister, witnesses told the Orlando Sentinel.

Police found that Lamar did not leave behind a note, and had never mentioned suicide to friends, teachers or his family.

They also discovered that on the day Lamar killed himself, he took a 40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol from a locked gun box stored in his father’s bedroom closet.

The sole key to the box had been left behind by Lamar Hawkins Sr, who had accidentally grabbed his wife’s keys instead when leaving the house that day.

He had been planning to pawn the gun off that very afternoon to help pay for the family’s electric bill.

Following Lamar’s death, the Seminole County Public School stated they had a comprehensive bullying policy that was fully enforced throughout the district.

Source: The DailyMail

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