14-Year-Old Suspected of Killing Math Teacher Is Just a Kid (VIDEO)

This Just In 66

philip chismWhen word broke of the murder of popular high school math teacher Colleen Ritzer (24) yesterday, the community of Danvers, Massachusetts and the nation at large were shocked. Adding to this tragedy was the horrific realization that one of her own students, Philip Chism (14), was suspected of stabbing Ritzer to death.

The young teacher's murder, coming as it did, on the heels of the killing of another teacher by a student in Nevada just days earlier made the story that much more jarring. With details about the crime unfolding so rapidly, one major change in the case almost passed by without mention. Philip Chism is being charged as an adult.

Chism was a relatively new addition to the community and the school, having moved to Massachusetts not so long ago from Tennessee. Chism was described by his teammates on the high school soccer team as being a nice guy. In fact, Chism was first missed on Tuesday when he didn't appear for practice. His teammates were the ones to begin the search for the teen who was later found on foot, one town over.

Though he stands at over six feet tall, Chism is only just barely a teenager. Although he has not yet faced a trial, there seems to be little doubt as to his having some sort of involvement in the crime. Reports have made mention of video footage that allegedly shows him hiding Ritzer's body in the woods behind the school. The real question is motive: Why would anyone, let alone someone so young, take the life of someone else and ostensibly destroy their own life in the process?

Height aside, Chism is still a child. As a teenager, he's just barely got control over his own body, his emotions, and his impulses. While this is no way justifies murder, I think it should have been considered when it came to charging him. If he is found guilty as an adult, he could be sent to an adult facility, which is tantamount to a death sentence. I am sure we'll continue to learn more about the boy and his victim and why he might have committed this crime, but I'd be hard pressed to hear any evidence that might make me think that charging Chism as an adult is the right choice.

Do you think Chism should have been charged as a child, or that given the nature of the crime, he should have to face adult consequences?


Image via ABCGo.com

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Movie... Moviebuff

Nope he should be tried as an adult people need to realize that some kids are born bad.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

He wouldn't go directly to adult prison, he would be held at juvenile facility until he's of age. If what he did is true then that's exactly what is deserved.

nonmember avatar L

What the fuck is wrong with you??? HE KILLED SOMEONE! I knew murder was wrong at age 14! "As a teenager, he's just barely got control over his own body, his emotions, and his impulses" <-- Fucking excuses (explains why this generation is so fucked up. Excuse their behavior instead of punishing them for it). Hold the bastard accountable for what he did. He committed a crime and should be charged for it.

Einyn Einyn

If were willing to charge kids with bullying their peers to the point of suicide then we damn well need to accept fourteen as old enough to be considered adult. I'm so sick of this culture that excuses culpability. Oh he's young oh it's the video games oh he wasn't cuddled enough as a kid. No no no.

EmilyH87 EmilyH87

He's not a child, he's a sociopath. He slit a woman's throat with a box cutter. Lock him up and charge him with the severity this crime deserves.

Jespren Jespren

A 14 year old, barring mental retardation, is not 'just a kid', they are a young adult who are fully cognasent of right and wrong, fully capable of making moral or immoral choices, old enough through out most of human history to be parents, hold a job, care for a house, live on their own, and understand the concept of social law. Since many Americans like to artifically stunt the development of their offspring, and we live in a society where a 21 year old college adult is frequently refered to as a 'kid', sure, this young man probably wasn't as capable as he *should* be at 14. But, that capacity to live independant and as a functional adult aside, he certainly is still perfectly capable of 1) understanding fully that murder if wrong 2) understanding fully that murder is illegal and 3) understanding fully his actions (as described, no guilty verdict yet of course) would lead to a morally and legally wrong action and 4) understand the permancy of death. As such, he should absolutely be tried as an adult.

Rando... Randomlady

Kids don't kill people, normal people don't kill people. End of question, you commit a crime you get punished for it and it is as simple as that. Lock him up. Rehabilitate his ass.

sweet... sweetaspie630

Seeing as a little over 100 years ago it was normal for 14 year olds to be married, running a household and raising children, NO a 14 year old is NOT "just a kid" We have MADE our children entitled, immature, and ready to blame everyone else for their problems, and kids who refuse to take any responsibility for their actions.


He should never get out of prison. EVER.

Sophi... SophiasChoice

I'm just going to assume that you are being sacastic. If you are not, then you need your brain checked. I have seen stupid people before, but this is just incredible. Thank you for introducing me to a whole new level of stupidity. You my friend make Honey Boo Boo look like a rocket scientist.

adopt... adoption2013

He murdered someone yes he should be tried as an adult unless some sort of mitigating circumstance comes out.    No he should not go to an adult prison until he is an adult.

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