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Classes resume at Massachusetts school where teacher was slain

Members of the school soccer team gather at a makeshift memorial for teacher Colleen Ritzer outside the high school where she taught in Danvers, Mass., on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

DANVERS, Mass. — Students in the Massachusetts school where a classmate allegedly killed a teacher returned on Friday, surrounded by extra safety measures as well as tributes to the victim, including trees adorned with pink ribbons, her favorite color.

Classes resumed in Danvers High School two days after student Philip Chism, 14, was charged with murder in the death of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher. 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,” 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.

Outside the school, an electronic sign displayed a tweet that Ritzer posted this summer: “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

“RIP Miss Ritzer. Gone, not forgotten,” was written in the school colors of blue and white on the windows of a pickup truck in the student parking lot.

Caio Silva, a senior and varsity soccer player, said he knew Chism and Ritzer. He said he and his teammates are helping each other.

“A lot of the guys are really shocked. A lot of guys are down, really upset,” he said.

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