Remembering Jaelynn: Great Mills High School will mark anniversary of shooting Wednesday

Wednesday marks one year since a shooting at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County took the life of 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey.

Classmates and community members will remember Willey in part by wearing teal, her favorite color, on Wednesday.

Willey was shot and killed by her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend. Another student was also struck but survived before the gunman took his own life.

Jaelynn's mother Melissa Willey told FOX 5 Tuesday she has spent the last year becoming an advocate for school safety, making plans to memorialize her daughter and taking care of her eight other children.

"She didn't deserve this. She didn't ask for this," Willey said.

Willey described Jaelynn as kind and caring. She liked to swim, as a member of her high school swim team, and often babysat younger children.

Melissa says a plan is in the works to place a memorial bench at her daughter's favorite waterfront park in Leonardtown. There is also a scholarship planned in her honor.

"I think it's pretty significant to remember her and to remember the situation. To remember that it was domestic and gun violence," said Willey.

Administrators will allow Great Mills students to leave school early Wednesday to take part in a rock painting event for Jaelynn.

There will be an increased security presence as well, due in part to online threats made toward several St. Mary's County schools Tuesday.