Family suing school board over son's death on campus

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- Thirteen months after investigators said Lamar Hawkins shot and killed himself with his father's gun inside a boy's bathroom at Greenwood Lakes Middle School, his parents have filed lawsuit against the Seminole County School Board, claiming the school was negligent. The family alleges that Lamar was bullied to death.

"We know that nothing was done to protect Lamar," said attorney Matt Morgan, who is representing the family.  "He took his life at school to send a message and the message was clear: these bullies drove me to this point, so I will commit this act on school grounds, so they know that they did this to me," said Morgan in a news conference Monday morning.

The 14-year-old boyt was only 4 feet, 5 inches tall.  Morgan says Lamar was constantly teased, harassed and beat up because of his size.  The lawsuit alleges negligent supervision by the school.  It also alleges that the school failed to adequately discipline the bullies.  "We know through our investigation at this point in time that Lamar was systematically bullied over a period of time.  We also know that Lamar's parents made every attempt possible to remedy the harm that their child was experiencing at school by both going to the school and advising the administration that their children including Lamar were bullied," said Morgan.

The lawsuit also accuses the school of failing to supervise and account for student absence, alleging that no one knew Lamar was missing until his parents went to pick him up from detention.  Earlier in the day, Morgan says it should have been apparent that there was a problem. 

"A student went to the bathroom.  They saw that there was a gun shell casing on the ground. They picked it up and brought it to their teacher and what happened after that, nothing" said Morgan.  Deputies say it wasn't until 11 o'clock that night that investigators searching the school found Lamar dead in a bathroom stall, straddling the toilet with a gunshot wound through his forehead.

FOX 35 reached out to the spokesperson for the Seminole County School Board to get the boards reaction to the lawsuit.  Our calls have not yet been returned.   

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