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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Motive unknown in 24yo Massachusetts teacher slaying...

    Danvers, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Students will get back to reading, writing and arithmetic on Thursday at schools all over this small Massachusetts town. Except for one.

    Danvers High School. Students and their parents there will talk to grief counselors.

    They and police investigators are asking why their much loved math teacher was killed. And how a 14-year-old student could be accused of beating her to death. The answers may lie behind the police tape around this high school.

    Those who knew both, student Philip Chism, and educator Colleen Ritzer, were shocked.



    "It's just surreal how quickly someone can go, and how much we take for granted everyday," said Danvers High School student Chris Weimert. Ritzer was "the nicest teacher you could ever have," he said. "I can't believe it."

    The ordeal started Tuesday as a missing person case. Authorities first searched for Chism, after he was reported missing. They alerted the public Tuesday evening that the teen had been last seen around 6:30 p.m. But by 11:20 p.m. they got a call that 24-year-old Ritzer had also disappeared.

    She hadn't returned home and was not answering her phone, said Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. Police in Topsfield, the town just north of Danvers, around 12:30 a.m. spotted Chism walking alongside a busy road there.

    At Danvers High, police found blood in a second-floor bathroom, the district attorney said. The teacher's body was soon discovered behind the school.

    Detectives interviewed Chism, and whatever the teen told them about what went on at the school and in the surrounding woods, coupled with video surveillance, led to an arrest.

    In court, it was alleged the teenager "did assault and beat" Ritzer, leading to her death.

    "The juvenile was subsequently placed into custody and booked for murder," adds the complaint.

    The 14-year-old was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in a Salem, Massachusetts, court for murder, then ordered held without bail. A grand jury could decide if Chism will be charged as an adult.

    Meanwhile, outside the courtroom, in the tight-knit community of Danvers, many were at a loss. Ritzer was beloved, her friends say. She posted inspirational messages on her Twitter account and went the extra mile to help students.

    "She was talking on Saturday about this year was a good year. She was teaching freshman for first time. She was happy," said Jen Berger, Ritzer's best friend. "I don't even know what the world is like without her. It's a scary thought."

    Sympathy spread through the region, making its way into the baseball World Series. Bleachers full of fans who had assembled to watch the Boston Red Socks take on the St. Louis Cardinals observed a moment of silence in Ritzer's honor, before Game 1 began at Boston's Fenway Park.

    Charlotte Dzerkacz in 2011 taught at the same middle school with Ritzer, during which time the two became close friends.

    Ritzer seemed to always wear a wide smile and was approachable to students and colleagues alike.

    "She was energetic, she was compassionate," Dzerkacz said. "You couldn't ask for anything more from a teacher or a friend."

    Chism is a quiet young man, those who know him said. He excelled at soccer and made a harmless impression.

    "He ... seemed quiet and reserved, but he just seemed normal," said Ariana Edwards, who was in Chism's English class.

    Chism didn't drink, do drugs and came from a good family, one of his closest friends said. He described Chism as a good athlete who was shy at first but eventually warmed up to people, adding he hadn't been acting strangely lately.

    This friend and others got their first hint something was awry when Chism didn't show up for soccer practice Tuesday. The team ended up setting out to look for their teammate, after seeing texts that he was missing.

    As they and police were looking for him -- and after Ritzer was killed -- Chism went to the movies, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.

    Chism was a newcomer to Danvers, a town of about 26,000 people. His family had bounced around as he lived in different cities in Tennessee and Florida, since he was in fourth grade, authorities in those states said.

    Blodgett, the prosecutor, declined Wednesday to offer specifics on the relationship between the suspect and the late teacher, though his office said Chism attended one of Ritzer's classes.

    All seven schools in the North Shore town closed Wednesday, as investigators did their work and students and residents mourned the loss of Ritzer. Everything will reopen Thursday except the high school, but counselors and grief specialists will be available there for two hours during the day, said Superintendent Lisa Dana. Classes throughout the town are set to resume Friday, she said.

    Ritzer graduated from Assumption College in 2011. She was working on getting a master's degree in school counseling at Salem State University, that school said.

    "She believed children have much to offer and often do not realize how special they are as individuals," the university said. "In her application to Salem State she said she was dedicated to 'helping students in times of need.'"

    Ritzer was known to take to Twitter to dole out homework assignments and wisdom to her students.

    "No matter what happens in life, be good to people," she wrote in August. "Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 07:55 PM
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    seems it's safer to work at a 7-11 these days than it is to work in a school

    just saw some statistics that say that since the Newtown shooting there have been 13 other school shootings. WTF

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind is that total homicides and the violent crime rate on K-12 campuses has been dropping steadily for the last 20 or so years.

    In 1990, the number of violent victimizations on campus was 1,240,200 and the number of serious violent victimizations was 197,600 . There are some fluctuations, but the overall numbers go way down. In 2010, those numbers were 358,600 and 91,400, respectively. During that time, the rate of school violence and serious violence per 1,000 students went from 53 and 8 to 14 and 4 .

    During this same period, homicides on school campuses totaled 34 in 92/93 and fluctuated a bit, but overall has dropped to 14 in 09/10, though in 10/11 that was back up to 25.

    The point is, though, that while we hear about all of this stuff today, at worst, the overall trend is even over time, and at best it is trending downward.

  5. #5
    Good Enough pickslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that total homicides and the violent crime rate on K-12 campuses has been dropping steadily for the last 20 or so years.

    In 1990, the number of violent victimizations on campus was 1,240,200 and the number of serious violent victimizations was 197,600 . There are some fluctuations, but the overall numbers go way down. In 2010, those numbers were 358,600 and 91,400, respectively. During that time, the rate of school violence and serious violence per 1,000 students went from 53 and 8 to 14 and 4 .

    During this same period, homicides on school campuses totaled 34 in 92/93 and fluctuated a bit, but overall has dropped to 14 in 09/10, though in 10/11 that was back up to 25.

    The point is, though, that while we hear about all of this stuff today, at worst, the overall trend is even over time, and at best it is trending downward.
    This is an important point that gets missed amid the hysteria and cries of "do something!". Overall, violent crime has been going down for decades. Gun homicides alone have dropped from more than 13,000 in the mid 90s to less than 9,000. Still too many, but the generally accepted idea that we are more violent than before is demonstrably false if you look at the data. And not to minimize these tragedies, but of the 8,000 or so people murdered annually with guns, less than 40 will be killed in school shootings or shooting sprees.

    If you want do "do something," end the drug war. That would save thousands of lives, thugs though they may be...

    TK

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    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that total homicides and the violent crime rate on K-12 campuses has been dropping steadily for the last 20 or so years.

    In 1990, the number of violent victimizations on campus was 1,240,200 and the number of serious violent victimizations was 197,600 . There are some fluctuations, but the overall numbers go way down. In 2010, those numbers were 358,600 and 91,400, respectively. During that time, the rate of school violence and serious violence per 1,000 students went from 53 and 8 to 14 and 4 .

    During this same period, homicides on school campuses totaled 34 in 92/93 and fluctuated a bit, but overall has dropped to 14 in 09/10, though in 10/11 that was back up to 25.

    The point is, though, that while we hear about all of this stuff today, at worst, the overall trend is even over time, and at best it is trending downward.
    Wow. Never would have believed those stats.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickslide View Post

    If you want do "do something," end the drug war. That would save thousands of lives, thugs though they may be...

    TK
    THIS^


    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Wow. Never would have believed those stats.
    Yeah. Mass shootings are another one. They're neither increasing nor decreasing. There is no pattern.

    But this is where the media doesn't do its job. John Stossel, whatever one may think of him, actually addresses this in his first book. It's one of the many realizations that led him towards Libertarianism. The media doesn't give the reader or viewer any perspective on risk. You'd think today the most dangerous place to be is a school campus, with the way this stuff is reported with such frequency now. But contextually school homicides are down.

    Stossel was a bit liberal. Today, he'd be doing stories on gun violence and calling for gun control. But realizing fact vs. sensationalism led him down a path of, "Okay, I feel this intuitively and it seems that people are dying and we have to do something!"

    In reality, though, violent crime is dropping while guns have become more ubiquitous and states have liberalized their policies.

  8. #8
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that total homicides and the violent crime rate on K-12 campuses has been dropping steadily for the last 20 or so years.

    In 1990, the number of violent victimizations on campus was 1,240,200 and the number of serious violent victimizations was 197,600 . There are some fluctuations, but the overall numbers go way down. In 2010, those numbers were 358,600 and 91,400, respectively. During that time, the rate of school violence and serious violence per 1,000 students went from 53 and 8 to 14 and 4 .

    During this same period, homicides on school campuses totaled 34 in 92/93 and fluctuated a bit, but overall has dropped to 14 in 09/10, though in 10/11 that was back up to 25.

    The point is, though, that while we hear about all of this stuff today, at worst, the overall trend is even over time, and at best it is trending downward.
    every time i see stats like these I question the start points and how they are skewing the numbers. There were 34 homicides in 92/93, how many were there in 1985? Why is 92/93 used as the starting point? Why is 1990 the starting point for violent incidencts but 92 for murders. Is it because it's incredibly high and make now look good? (not that it would, this year will likely be higher than 92/93).

    On the overall point, yes, we hear about every school murder now and we didn't 20 years ago and that causes people to maybe think things are worse than they are. But it's still a legitimate problem that needs to be addressed.

  9. #9
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    I would think those stats are more student/student crime and inner city crime

    that's why inner city schools have "resource officers" and metal detectors now


    what we are seeing is crime in "nice" neighborhoods.....these are not inner city events....

    the perps are predominantly white, middle class

    the most common denominator was mental health issues however

    this is interesting

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...-shootings-map

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    every time i see stats like these I question the start points and how they are skewing the numbers. There were 34 homicides in 92/93, how many were there in 1985? Why is 92/93 used as the starting point? Why is 1990 the starting point for violent incidencts but 92 for murders. Is it because it's incredibly high and make now look good? (not that it would, this year will likely be higher than 92/93).

    On the overall point, yes, we hear about every school murder now and we didn't 20 years ago and that causes people to maybe think things are worse than they are. But it's still a legitimate problem that needs to be addressed.
    Ya know, I am glad you brought that up. The 1990/1992 discrepancy was a mistake on my part. Both start in 1992.

    The Institute of Education Sciences where these numbers come from is a part of the Department of Education, and was created in 2002, though it replaced another research entity in the DoE.

    According to this site (http://www.k12academics.com/school-s...s#.UmlxlvlQGSo), the first half of the 1980s was pretty quiet, but there was an increase in the latter half.

    Without looking at it too deeply, it looked like there was an increase in the late 80s to early 90s and then a decrease since then to now.

    But you bring up a good point. One of my favorite things to bring up is when it is thrown out there that workplace deaths have gone down dramatically since we established OSHA. OSHA likes to brag about that too, but if you look at the numbers before OSHA, the numbers were falling at a very similar rate.

  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Too bad this won't get as much scrutiny since he's black and used a box cutter. Had he been white with a gun our President would be making a speech about gun control.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    every time i see stats like these I question the start points and how they are skewing the numbers. There were 34 homicides in 92/93, how many were there in 1985? Why is 92/93 used as the starting point? Why is 1990 the starting point for violent incidencts but 92 for murders. Is it because it's incredibly high and make now look good? (not that it would, this year will likely be higher than 92/93).

    On the overall point, yes, we hear about every school murder now and we didn't 20 years ago and that causes people to maybe think things are worse than they are. But it's still a legitimate problem that needs to be addressed.
    I always have to question them as well. Stats are meaningless without circumstances. As was hinted at in a subsequent post, are maybe gang related deaths in inner city schools down but deaths in seemingly safe suburban schools up, just not to the levels they used to be when the deaths were happening in the inner city? What about today's kids that get bullied to the point of going home and hanging themselves, do they count at all?

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    I always have to question them as well. Stats are meaningless without circumstances. As was hinted at in a subsequent post, are maybe gang related deaths in inner city schools down but deaths in seemingly safe suburban schools up, just not to the levels they used to be when the deaths were happening in the inner city? What about today's kids that get bullied to the point of going home and hanging themselves, do they count at all?
    You bring up a good point, but the overarching story being told here is that American schools are in crisis, school shootings are a problem, and the answer, of course, is gun control.

    I think the numbers help to show that there is no overall crisis. Sure, perhaps the deaths have shifted. But it's not worse; it's different.

    In this case it was a box cutter, so it doesn't fit the "crisis," but you have to admit that most people would think that school homicides are way, way up overall.

    As far as suicide due to bullying, no one goes home and kills themselves due to bullying unless something else was going on. Bullying is a problem, but it also prepares you for life, where there are bullies in adulthood everywhere.

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    Atomic Punk
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    Friday, November 22: At the request of multiple news agencies, the search warrant application tied to Philip Chism's murder investigation has been released.

    The court documents reveal:

    • Chism brought to school that day a box cutter, gloves, a mask and changes of clothing.

    • A female student entered the bathroom where Chism allegedly attacked Ritzer and quickly walked out after witnessing an "exposed butt."

    • The teacher's lifeless body was found in the woods, naked from the waist down, with her throat slit. Her body was staged in a sexual position and she had been molested with a tree branch.

    • With the body was a note that said "I hate you all."

    • When cops caught up with Chism, in his bag they found a bloody boxcutter, credit cards, two driver's licenses, and a pair of women's underwear.

    • Asked about the blood on the boxcutter, Chism said it came from "the girl."

    • Chism's parents were going through a divorce, and he was angered when Ritzer talked to him about Tennessee, where he lived before coming to Massachusetts.

    Here, via Boston Herald reporter @johnzaremba, are all nine pages of the affidavit https://twitter.com/johnzaremba/media
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    Can we just hit reboot on planet Earth?
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    Hedberg

 

 

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