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Classmate: Suspect Was Offered After-School Help

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The 14-year old boy who murdered his math teacher earlier this week was offered help by her on the day she died, a classmate says.

Rania Rhaddaoui, 14, says that Philip Chism was doodling in class on Tuesday and that their teacher, Collen Ritzer, walked by and remarked on it.

“I didn’t know you draw,” she reportedly said.

She then asked Chism if he’d like to stay after class to catch up, and he allegedly agreed with no signs of irritation or anger. But sometime between the final bell and Tuesday evening, something happened to cause Chism to snap. What that was, police are trying to find out. The pieces of the puzzle are grisly: Chism slashed Ritzer’s throat in the faculty bathroom with a box cutter and stabbed her, then dumped her body in a recycling bin and used it to move her to a wooded area near the school, where she was found several hours later. Chism then went to a movie theater and was found walking down a highway late that night by police, who had been looking for him as a missing person.

For now, Ritzer’s family and the students and faculty at Danvers High School are grieving for the loss of a 24-year old woman who loved her job.

“She was just a young, caring girl that had the whole world ahead of her. And to be taken so early is just horrible,” Ritzer’s uncle, Peter Martellucci, said.

“The Ritzer Family is most grateful for the outpouring of support during this very difficult time. The family kindly requests that the media respects their privacy as the necessary arrangements are made to celebrate Colleen’s vibrant life,” Ritzer’s family said in a statement.

Image: CBS Boston

Classmate: Suspect Was Offered After-School Help
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  • Wow

    It always strikes me as odd about how people think that today’s youth are still children. They are doing everything adults are doing and more. I doubt many readers have actually even been to a high school recently. Kids are nothing like the kids of the 80s.

    We buy into an illusion in this country. That is why you can still turn on the TV and see military shows about WWII. Every notice that? Go to the history channel or the military channel and the shows are all about events that happened 70 years ago. That country does not exist anymore. But we live a lie and think it does. Your kids are not the kids of the 1950s. They are nothing like them. Until we acknowledge that in 2013, everything is different with our children, nothing is going to get better.

    I don’t know what the answers are but I do know we are in a collective state of denial and we never hold our teenagers responsible for any of their decisions. It is not just the boys either. I don’t want to be sexist and say it is just them. It is the girls too. Heck, you have 14 year old girls who wear g-strings, look 10 years older than they are, lie about their age, drink, and have sex with much older men, but we constantly say they are just “children”, even though they are consciously making a decision to do all these things. They know right from wrong but yet, they still do them. They are just CHOOSING to not do the right things.

    I hate to tell parents but your teenagers aren’t climbing trees anymore for fun …. they are clubbing, partying, screwing, using drugs, drinking, and in this awful case, killing.

  • Wow

    By the way, we also need to be asking the question as to why these things are happening at a much higher rate here than they are in the rest of the world? (Yes, the do happen in other countries, but really they are happening here at a much much much higher rate. It really isn’t that close when you do the research.)

    Fundamentally, the question is what is wrong with America?