SARATOGA -- Candles were lit as the sun set at Saratoga High on Friday night, and a memorial for Audrie Pott -- the 15-year-old student who killed herself last year -- became a two-toned affair of remembrance and vigilance.

She was remembered as the "most bubbly, witty girl" with an upbeat and encouraging personality, whose death should serve as a warning to other teens to be mindful of their surroundings and a message to everybody about the damaging effects of bullying.

Audrie committed suicide in September after an alleged sexual assault at a teen party and subsequent sharing of photos left her feeling publicly shamed before her peers, according to the family.

Three 16-year-old boys from the school were arrested last week and each faces two felony charges and a misdemeanor charge involving sexual battery and the distribution of child pornography in a case that put the national spotlight on sexual assault and bullying among adolescents.

"She was so strong; I never saw it coming," said Sarah Broughton, 15. "Hopefully we'll get something positive out of this, and help some other girls and save some lives."

In a poignant message for teen girls, Sarah said: If you go out to social functions, go in a group. Don't trust people you don't know well. And don't ever be in a situation where everybody is too drunk to know what's going on.


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About 150 people -- including her mother, father and stepmother -- attended Friday's event, with adults easily outnumbering those of high school age.

Speakers included Anna Brownell, the mother of 20-year-old Amanda Brownell, who was taken off life support this week, four years after she suffered brain damage from attempting to hang herself over what her mother believes was high school bullying.

The three boys are accused of sexually assaulting Audrie at an unsupervised Labor Day weekend house party last year where the girl drank too much and passed out in an upstairs bedroom. According to court documents and family lawyers, the boys removed her shorts and used a black marker to cover her body with scrawls and sexually explicit messages. Photos were allegedly taken and shared with other students on campus, and in Facebook messages, Audrie later stated she believed "the whole school knows" and that "my life is over."

Family members believe the resulting humiliation was too much to bear, and caused Audrie to hang herself Sept. 10 at her mother's home in Los Altos.

Audrie's father, Lawrence Pott, thanked everybody for kind words about his daughter and their support of efforts to combat bullying. A push to pass anti-bullying legislation has become the family's mission.

"Audrie was always a peacemaker," he said. "So now, we've decided that we need to go and keep the peace for her."

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