Boy, 14, Charged With Murder in Beating Death of Teacher

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Colleen Ritzer was the kind of high school teacher who made geometry and algebra classes fun. Just a few years older than her students, she used Twitter to send homework assignments and inspirational messages.


Philip Chism, 14, was arraigned Wednesday on a murder charge in the death of Colleen Ritzer, a teacher at Danvers High School near Boston. (Credit: Danvers Police Department; Facebook)

Her Twitter profile description read: “Math teacher often too excited about the topics I’m teaching.”

Ritzer’s lifeless body was found in woods near Danvers High School early Wednesday morning. Prosecutors in Massachusetts charged one of her students, Philip Chism, 14, with beating the 24-year-old teacher to death.

Ritzer was “a dynamic and brilliant ray of light,” the school district’s statement said. “Colleen Ritzer was everything one could ask for in a teacher — dedicated, passionate and invested in her students. Our entire community will feel this loss for many years to come.”

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