Heartbroken Mom Says Bullies Who Drove Son to Suicide 'Won'

school hallway

In most cases of bullying, parents feel powerless. Powerless to stop the torment. Powerless to help their kids feels safe. That is the pain that Florida mom Shaniqua Hawkins felt in the weeks and days leading up to her son's death. She says that her 14-year-old son Lamar killed himself because of the merciless torment of school bullies. "They won because he took his life," she said.

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It's a chilling thought, to be sure. They reportedly picked on Lamar for years because of one reason -- his small frame due to medical issues early in life. Hawkins says her boy was physically and emotionally abused at school. "Many students would just be downright cruel to him," she told reporters.

In a few of the many attacks, he was allegedly pushed down the stairs, knocked out of his chair, and mocked at lunch. It's heartbreaking to know that your child is enduring this kind of treatment. Bullying is one of the biggest problems school children face. I know a lot of parents still find that hard to believe. In their mind, how could it be as bad as people say? But stories like that of Lamar are far too common to dismiss this as anything but a tragic epidemic.

He only saw one way to end his torment -- taking his father's gun to school and shooting himself in the head in a bathroom stall. Sadly, he's not the only kid to take his life for that reason. Last September 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death from a tower after months of cyber-bullying. And there have been many cases where the victim has turned a gun on his aggressors, taking down others in the process. Who can forget the rampage at Columbine High School or last year's case of the 16-year-old California student who shot at two classmates because he felt he'd been bullied?

Police are in the midst of an investigation to determine whether bullying really played a role in Lamar's death -- however, his family has no doubts. We cannot discount the serious psychological effects this torture has on children. And it is torture. It is abuse. I only wish Lamar had seen another way out of the situation.

Do you think bullying is a serious issue?

 

Image © Manuel Sulzer/cultura/Corbis

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