Mother of accused Mass. teen trained DCS workers

A former Clarksville teenager accused of murdering a Massachusetts school teacher is the son of a service man and his mother once trained workers for the Tennessee Department of Children

Philip Chism, 14, stands during his arraignment for the death of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in Salem District Court in Salem, Mass., Oct. 23, 2013. / AP Photo/Boston Herald - Patrick Whittemore

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former Clarksville teenager accused of murdering a Massachusetts school teacher is the son of a service man and his mother once trained workers for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Fourteen-year-old Philip Chism was charged with murder Wednesday in the death of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School.

Bill Persinger is a spokesman for Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. He said Thursday that Chism's mother, Diana Chism, worked in the university's social work department from August 2011 to July 2012.

He said she worked under a grant from the Department of Children's Services and trained DCS workers.

Mark Nolan was Chism's soccer coach several years ago. He says the boy's father was in the military. He didn't say what branch.

Authorities have offered no clues on Chism's alleged motive. They also would not say how Ritzer was killed.


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