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Student, 14, held without bail in Mass. high school teacher's death

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Student, 14, held without bail in Mass. high school teacher's death Play CBS News Video ugg Updated at 11:20 p.m. ET uggs on sale cheap uggs sale men DANVERS, Mass. A well-liked teacher was found slain in woods behind this quiet Massachusetts town's high school, and a 14-year-old boy who was found walking along a state highway overnight was charged with killing her. uggs clearance cheap uggs for women
Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer is seen in this undated picture provided by Ritzer's family.
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AP Photo/Courtesy of Dale Webster via the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune
uggs on sale kids Blood found in a second-floor school bathroom helped lead investigators to the body of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School who was reported missing when she didn't come home from work on Tuesday, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. "She was a very, very respected, loved teacher," Blodgett said. The suspect, Philip Chism, was arraigned on a murder charge Wednesday and ordered held without bail. The teenager, described by classmates as soft-spoken and pleasant, also did not come home from school on Tuesday and was spotted walking along Route 1 in the neighboring town of Topsfield at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. "We have no reason to believe that any other suspects are involved," Blodgett told reporters during a Wednesday morning news conference. Officials didn't release a cause of death and haven't discussed a motive in the killing.
Philip Chism, 14, stands during his arraignment in Salem District Court in Salem, Mass., Oct. 23, 2013.
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AP Photo/Boston Herald - Patrick Whittemore
A court filing said Ritzer and Chism were known to each other from the high school, but it did not elaborate. The arrest was made based on statements by the suspect and corroborating evidence at multiple scenes, investigators said in court documents. Ritzer's family said they are mourning the death of their "amazing, beautiful daughter and sister." "Everyone that knew and loved Colleen knew of her passion for teaching and how she mentored each and every one of her students," the family said in a statement provided by her uncle Dale Webster. Riley Doyle, 14 and a freshman in Ritzer's geometry class, told CBSNews.com that her teacher "was always really upbeat and positive and excited about math." "She made every lesson like you wanted to learn it," Riley said. "For the first time, math became one of my favorite classes." Riley said Ritzer's students thought highly of her. "She was always very courteous to her students, and she would never talk down to them," Riley said. "She treated them like people." Riley's sister Regan Doyle, 17 and a senior at the high school, told CBSNews.com that she didn't have Ritzer as a teacher, but she had "never heard one bad thing about her." "My sister would always come home from school saying how she was her favorite teacher," Regan said. Regan said Ritzer's death came as a shock to the school. "It's just a tragedy, and it's so bad because she's so young," Regan said, "and you could tell that she really loved her job and the kids, and it's sad that this had to happen." At his arraignment in adult court in Salem, Chism's defense attorney, Denise Regan, argued for the proceeding to be closed and her client to be allowed to stay hidden because of his age. The judge denied the request but granted Regan's request for the teen to be given a mental-health evaluation. A not-guilty plea was entered on Chism's behalf and he was ordered held without bail. The tall, lanky teenager had moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee before the start of the school year and was a top scorer on the school's junior varsity soccer team, said Kyle Cahill, a junior who also plays soccer. He said the team had been wondering where Chism was when he skipped a team dinner Tuesday night. "We're all just a family. It just amazes me really," Cahill said. "He wasn't violent at all. He was really the opposite of aggressive." Ritzer had a Twitter account where she gave homework assignments, encouraged students and described herself as a "math teacher often too excited about the topics I'm teaching." She was a 2011 graduate of Assumption College in Worcester, a school spokeswoman said Wednesday. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in math, a minor in psychology and a secondary education concentration, according to the college's 2011 commencement program. "I just remember seeing her in the hallway and she always had a smile, like 'hi' to everyone, and she was just an amazing person," Megan Papagelis, a Danvers High graduate, told CBS Boston station WBZ-AM . "It's just shocking to see that this could happen," Papagelis told WBZ-AM. "Unbelievable." One of her former students, Chris Weimert, 17, said she was a warm, welcoming person who would stand outside her classroom and say hello to students she didn't teach. He said she had been at the school for two years. "She was the nicest teacher anyone could ever have. She always had a warm smile on her face," he said.
Ritzer liked to post homework assignments and words of encouragement on Twitter. In August she tweeted: "No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind."
Ryan Kelleher, a senior, said students related to the young teacher, who liked to wear jeans and UGG boots just like the teenagers she taught. Kelleher, who also plays soccer, said the arrest of the soft-spoken Chism didn't make sense to him. "From what I know about him and seeing him every day, it just doesn't add up that he would do such a thing, unless this was all an act to fool somebody," the 17-year-old said. Ritzer lived at home with her 20-year-old brother and her sister, a high school senior. The close-knit family was often outside, barbecuing, spending time together and enjoying each other's company, neighbors said. Mary Duffy has lived next door to the Ritzers in the suburban neighborhood in Andover since the family moved there more than two decades ago. She had known Colleen Ritzer from the time she was a baby and said the Ritzers' oldest child had just one life ambition: to be a high school math teacher.
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"All I ever heard is that she loved her job," Duffy said. All public schools in Danvers, about 20 miles north of Boston, were closed Wednesday. Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday night to mourn Ritzer at a candlelight vigil in the high school parking lot. Many wore pink, the slain teacher's favorite color.

Classes were canceled at Danvers High until further notice, but grief counselors will be available at the school from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday. School will be held as normal for kindergarten through Grade 8. Ritzer is the second teacher allegedly killed by a student in the U.S. this week. A Sparks, Nev., middle school teacher was allegedly shot by a 12-year-old student on Monday. © 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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345 Comments Add a Comment link icon report icon email icon Question_Stupidity999 says: What kind of a quiet monster was this boy using a box cutter to murder someone. What a horrible death. He deserves the death penalty despite his age. I doubt bleeding heart MA progressive has the death penalty. reply link icon report icon email icon eroteme2 says: It is past time that we do something about these box cutters. reply link icon report icon email icon julesarcher1 says: I'm actually glad a gun was not used. I'm tired of the gun control/no gun control discussions around here. Anyone want to blame it on video games? reply link icon report icon email icon samuelhuddleston says: It does not matter who is black and who is white! The kid deserve life in prison no matter color he is. Get over this black and white non-sense! What matters is one human being murdered another being and thats it! And if you didn't know it - murder is illegal. Clear it up any morons ? reply julesarcher1 replies: link icon report icon email icon That's not how it works around here, DD. Proven in court is the standard. Civics lessons needed maybe? link icon report icon email icon legalbutunjust says: EEngMark replies: LEGALBUTUNJUST: "What a dumb comment. Highly ignorant." Perhaps things were poorly expressed, but the issue raised is valid. Had this teacher posessed any form of personal protection (i.e. gun, mace, pepper spray, stun gun), she might have had a fighting chance to save her own life. As a public school teacher, however, she's in a "gun free zone", so really she would have been breaking the law had she been in possession of anything. In MA, it's really inconvenient to legally carry a weapon for protection. Even if you want to just have pepper spray, you still have to apply for a Firearms Identification (FID) Card at your local police station. But then there's a whole raft of laws that make it nearly impossible to have it with your during normal life. So there you have it. If you're a teacher alone at school, you're on your own. Maybe if you're quick, you can call 911 in an emergency and hope that the police arrive in time to help. ----- I see that we aren't disagreeing. Thanks for your reply. reply EEngMark replies: link icon report icon email icon It's good that we can agree on things. Keep in mind that the original poster suggested that the teacher might have saved her own life if she were armed in some way. Calling that person 'dumb' and 'Highly Ignorant' doesn't seem warranted. It might be nice to revisit state laws which prevent teachers from protecting themselves. Surely there is a safe way for a teacher to guard against violent threats, either from students or adults. The laws and policies should be revised to accommodate the threat that this tragic incident illustrates. legalbutunjust replies: link icon report icon email icon I made those remarks in reference to the comment, not the commenter. link icon report icon email icon legalbutunjust says: ZannZelsVictoryDance replies: I just wanted to make it clear - I'm not defending the kid or condoning murder. But PLEASE try to remember Innocent until PROVEN guilty! Newspapers have forgotten innocent until proven guilty and they need to re-learn it!!!!!!!!!! ----- "Innocent until proven otherwise (guilty)" is a load of crap and has been since at least the 1970's. It was up until the feds began no longer going after local criminal justice regimes for their corruption that that canon held any merit. These days, as like for a long time now, it is PURE bullsh@t. reply legalbutunjust replies: link icon report icon email icon The press doesn't work for free. Nor do criminal defense lawyers. It's innocent IF- and until, the money gets paid. link icon report icon email icon skiimaan says: The old days are gone with Verdict: Guilty. Penalty: Death by guillotine. reply link icon report icon email icon Sonsof_liberty says: The reason is as simple as looking in the mirror, and these comments here. reply link icon report icon email icon Peipsi says: She disrespected this thug by turning down his sexual advances and paid for it with her life. End of story. She could have saved herself if she had had a gun like George Zimmerman, but she didn't. reply legalbutunjust replies: link icon report icon email icon What a dumb comment. Highly ignorant. I can't imagine there is any similarity between the Zimmerman/Martin case, and this one here. Pathologically, they are completely different. The circumstances are not the same. She probably could have only saved herself with a gun, if she was carrying concealed on school grounds AND on her person. And that's a thing that I would be certain state law simply would not have permitted. Unless an attack leading to a cause of death had happened off of school property, just how in the world would a gun have made a difference? She would have been clearly breaking the law to save herself- and only possibly save herself, yuh dimwit! legalbutunjust replies: link icon report icon email icon Think about things, here. She could have saved herself after shooting him to death, all after anticipating grave bodily harm, illegally bringing a handgun into the school, prepared for an assault with intent to cause serious injury.... Do you really think this sounds practical, or realistic? She'd be the one facing serious charges in all likelihood- even if the shooting was later ruled in some way justified. Nimwit. link icon report icon email icon ErectWeiner says: Poor kid, had he been white, they would not have released his name, changed his minor status to adult, and now he is screwed. They're going to charge him as an adult. I'm sad for he victim. Family, but charging this kid as an adult tainted this story for me. The kid, no matter what age, must pay for his crime. But to change his status from minor to adult is just plain wrong. No white kids ever been charged as an adult at age 14. Something stinks here. Good luck kid. reply Peipsi replies: link icon report icon email icon I am sure that Nancy Grace, that HLN resident race hustler, will weep for this killer likes she wept for Trayvon Martin. Come back to reality. A 14-year old white kid in my small Iowa town killed both of his grand parents and he is being charged as an adult. EEngMark replies: link icon report icon email icon Just look up Jordan Brown, who at 12 years old is being charged as an adult. Name and photo were prominently mentioned. Protecting a child's identity is fair when they are involved in a youthful indiscretion. But for a wanton murder like this one, the adult system is more appropriate. 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