In beyond upsetting school violence news, Phillip Chism, 14, will be tried as an adult in the killing of 24-year-old Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer, who was found in the woods behind the school this week. Fox 25 reports that the student “admitted to police that he followed Ritzer into the women’s restroom, punched her in the face and slashed her throat with a box cutter” before putting her body in a recycling bin. Chism was known as the new kid from Tennessee who became the top scorer on the junior varsity soccer team. “He wasn’t violent at all,” said a classmate. “He was really the opposite of aggressive.”
“At his arraignment in adult court in Salem, Chism’s defense attorney argued for the proceeding to be closed and her client to be allowed to stay hidden because of his age,” the AP reports. “The judge denied the request.”
Ritzer was “a very, very respected, loved teacher,” according to the Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. She kept a Twitter account for her students, filled with reminders and assignments, and described herself as a teacher “often too excited about the topics I’m teaching.” A candlelight vigil honored her at the high school last night, while the Boston Red Sox held a moment of silence for Ritzer before their game one victory in the World Series.