|Updated: 3/08 5:13 pm
||Published: 3/08 11:38 am
South Tulsa --
On what would have been her 18th birthday, high school students are finding a special way to remember a crime victim’s life. Kayla Ferrante was shot and killed in May of 2012. Kayla decided to spray paint her hair blue right before she was killed, and so today many of her classmates showed up with blue in their hair to honor her memory.
At 10am on Friday, students, faculty and staff at Memorial High School paused to remember her.The young teen made a huge impact on the lives of special needs students, and even after her death a display case now stand in the hallway to remind others of her passion.
"I think at the time she really didn't that she was going to feel that strongly about them,” says Special Ed teacher, Janet Parker.
She says Kayla would often stand up for her students when teased by others.
“Kayla stuck up for a few of them in the hallway when somebody was making fun,” says Parker.
Kayla died in May of 2012 in what police believe may have been a case of mistaken identity. When officers caught the suspect, the Crime Prevention Network donated $10,000 to Memorial High School’s special needs program in honor of Kayla.
"Part of the money that was donated in Kayla's name is going for Special Olympics uniforms that those students will get to wear,” says her mother, Roxanne Thornton.
Her family says Kayla’s only regret about graduating early was that she wouldn’t be able to see her special needs students on a daily basis.
"Her loss is not just a loss to her family and friends, but to a community who benefited from her being here,” says Thornton.
Edwin Jermaine Daniels is charged with first degree murder and shooting with intent to kill for Kayla’s death. His trial is scheduled to begin in April.