UK & World News
Slain Teacher 'Kept Suspect Student Behind'
A high school teacher who was allegedly killed by one of her students had asked him to stay after school the day she was killed, a classmate has said.
Philip Chism, 14, is charged with the murder of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old maths teacher at Danvers High School in Massachusetts.
Rania Rhaddaoui sat two seats away from Chism in Ms Ritzer's class during the final period of the school day on Tuesday.
Miss Rhaddaoui said Ms Ritzer approached Chism as he was drawing in a notebook rather than taking notes.
Ms Ritzer said: "I didn't know you drew."
Chism's classmate heard him reply, "Yes."
Ms Ritzer later asked Chism to stay after class, according to Miss Rhaddaoui.
"Obviously, he stayed after because when I was leaving, he was still at his desk," she said.
Ms Ritzer never returned home that day.
Blood in a second-floor bathroom helped lead investigators to her body, which was dumped in the woods behind the school in a close-knit community about 20 miles north of Boston.
Chism was picked up by police in the early morning hours on Wednesday, walking along a road in neighbouring Topsfield.
Authorities have offered no clues on Chism's alleged motive. They have also not said how Ms Ritzer was killed.
Schools in the district were closed for a second day on Thursday as students met with grief counsellors and tried to come to grips with the slaying of the popular teacher.
Classes were expected to resume on Friday.
Chism had moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee before the start of the school year and was a top scorer on the school's junior varsity soccer team.
Jean McCartin, a Danvers School Committee member, said the school has extensive programmes to help ease the transition for new students who may have problems but there was no information about Chism that would have presented any red flags.
"He just presented himself to us like any other student would," she said.
"And that's what I think is so hard for the administration right now. You know, their hearts are breaking because they just didn't know he was in need, if he was in need."
Ms Ritzer was described as an enthusiastic, caring teacher who stood outside her classroom and said hello to all students, whether they were in her classes or not.
Her family released a statement on Thursday, asking the media to respect their privacy as they make arrangements "to celebrate Colleen's vibrant life".
Ms Ritzer was the second teacher allegedly killed by a student in the US this week.
A Nevada middle school teacher was shot on Monday, allegedly by a 12-year-old student.