WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - What started out as a crush on MySpace turned into a cruel joke that led 13 year old Megan Meier to take her own life.
"This boy was Josh Evans, he told Megan how beautiful she was and how nice she was, and they talked for about 5 weeks," said Tina Meier, Megan's mother.
"I opened the door and I found her hanging in the closet," Meier continued.
Little did Meier know, her daughter was not interacting with a boy.
"It was actually a 46 year old mom who lived 4 houses down the street, her 13 year old daughter and another 18 year old girl," said Meier.
Thursday, Meier shared her story with hundreds of Palm Beach County residents during the 7th annual "Turn on the Light" conference.
"It is a way we are able to educate the community about child abuse and neglect," said Sandy Munoz, with The Children's Healing Institute.
The group focuses on people who deal with children, whether at school or in the neighborhood.
"Because they will now be able to look for signs of a child in danger," said Suzan Santosus, also with The Children's Healing Institute.
"Megan was cyber-bullied for 2 hours that is it, a 2 hour period. Many children endure this for weeks and months and years on end," said Meier.
Meier hopes her story can bring about change.
"The ultimate goal would be that children build more empathy, that children stop bullying other people," said Meier.
Organizers look forward to another successful conference next year, when they hope to reach out to many more people and give them tools to help stop child abuse and neglect.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company
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