The mother of the 14-year-old Massachusetts high school student accused of murdering his math teacher earlier this weekend said her 'heart is broken' by the tragedy.
In a statement released through the family's attorney Saturday, Diana Chism expressed remorse for the death of 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer, whom authorities say was murdered by Diana's son, Phillip, in a women's bathroom at Danvers High School Tuesday.
"Ms. Chism's heart is broken for the Ritzer family and the loss of their daughter and sister Colleen Ritzer," the statement read in part, according to MyFoxBoston.com.
"She asks that you know that she cares for the world's hurt over this and greatly hopes for your prayers for the Ritzer family, the Danvers community, for her son, and all those affected by this tragedy,"
Students at the high school returned Friday, surrounded by extra safety measures as well as tributes to the victim, including trees adorned with pink ribbons, her favorite color. School had been canceled the previous two days.
The day was stressful and difficult, said freshman Cambria Cloutier, 14.
"Everyone was just kind of crying, crying together. Everyone," she said.
Cloutier had class with Ritzer and Chism, and she returned to the classroom to find it stripped of pictures and handwriting. "There was basically no life in it," she said.
She said she could only tolerate being back in the room for about five minutes because she was thinking about seeing Ritzer and Chism together in the room after school Tuesday, shortly before the teacher was killed.
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Wintry weather has postponed a court hearing for school workers charged following an investigation prompted by the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two eastern Ohio high school football players.
Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove delayed Friday's hearing for six current or former workers at the Steubenville (STOO'-behn-vihl) school district. They were scheduled to appear before Cosgrove in Jefferson County court.
Cosgrove set the new hearing for Dec. 13.
A grand jury indicted five of the workers with charges including lying, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice from an investigation launched after the rape of the West Virginia girl last year.
A sixth employee faces theft and receiving stolen property charges related to alleged crimes uncovered during the grand jury investigation but unrelated to the rape case.