• 9 Investigates: No bullying infractions reported at school where bullied student committed suicide


    LAKE MARY, Fla. - Channel 9’s Tim Barber investigated bullying at a Seminole County middle school where a student committed suicide.

    His parents might be surprised by what Barber found.

    Lamar Hawkins' parents told Channel 9 they complained about bullying several times, so Barber requested the number of bullying infractions since 2011.

    Like many schools, people have complained about bullying at Greenwood Lakes Middle School for years.

    One student said "bullying occurs frequently and little is done about it."

    A parent wrote "bullying is happening almost daily."

    Then in September, Lamar Hawkins shot himself in the school's bathroom. Four days later, his parents blamed bullies.

    "’Shaq’ was physically and emotionally abused while at school. Many students would be just down right cruel to him," said his mother, Shaniqua Hawkins, referring to him by his nickname.

    But four years of records show there has only been two bullying infractions recorded at Greenwood Lakes.

    No infractions have been recorded this year, although the Hawkins' said they complained about bullying several times.

    Records also show that a Greenwood Lakes student who called in February’s shooting hoax at Lake Mary High School was bullied, too.

    The school district defines bullying as "unwanted and repeated written, verbal, stalking, or physical behavior."

    After Hawkins’ death, the school shared Ryan Halligan's story online.

    Halligan killed himself after he was bullied at a school in Vermont and his father told Channel 9 there could be a reason why only a couple cases were recorded.

    "It doesn’t make sense for a school to basically shoot itself in the foot and report every single mean moment and have, you know, a whole bunch of data and then be compared to a nearby neighboring school district," said John Halligan.

    No one with the Seminole County school district was available for comment on the day this story aired. It will be updated if one is received.

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