Friends and family remember Anthony Wayne teen - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Friends and family remember Anthony Wayne teen

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More than a hundred people packed a Waterville park on Friday night to remember the short but memorable life of 16-year-old Kayla Meeker.

Loved ones got the heartbreaking news last Thursday that the Anthony Wayne student had died.  While many say Kayla dealt with bullies both in life and online, her family says it wasn't the main thing that bothered the teen.

"Suicide isn't the answer," says her best friend and the organizer of the vigil, Morgan Adams.  "There's people to talk to, always."

 The 16-year-old's life has sparked a local social media movement.  Pages like the 'Meeker Movement' and 'Stop Bullying' were created to raise awareness about compassion and concern.  #StandUpforKayla has also been trending on Twitter.

"Hopefully people will learn to be nicer to each other and to think before they act," said Randy Fahringer, Kayla's cousin.

Were there signs?  Some friends say yes.  But for many, they had no idea the teen was in pain.

"There were signs but I didn't take it seriously, and I should have," Morgan Adams told 13abc solemnly.

"It was a total shock to all of us, a total shock," says Kayla's aunt, Donna Thorn.

Those who loved Kayla most hope her life and her story inspire other teens to speak up and reach out before it's too late.

"I don't think there will ever ben an end to the bullying, but maybe this will be a start," says Thorn.

"I will miss her dearly, she was a good friend," says another of Kayla's friends, Brynn Aossey.

The family hopes to put up a bench or memorial in Kayla's honor.  People are also welcome to make donations in her name to the Anthony Wayne Youth Foundation.

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