A New Jersey teacher overdosed in front of students, and is now facing charges.
Frank Thompson, an art teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School (not pictured above) in the town of Westfield, was discovered unconscious by students back on November 29, 2022, according to the Westfield Police Department. Apparently, students found the 57-year-old on the floor of a classroom shortly after 9 a.m. local time. Luckily, the school resource officer, Fortunato Riga, quickly identified the overdose and administered the opioid antidote naloxone hydrochloride, or Narcan, which he carries on his person, according to Police Chief Christopher Battiloro.
Soon after, Thompson began showing signs of improvement — but the concerning event led officers to open an investigation. In the Friday statement from WPD, Battiloro explained:
“Following an investigation of this incident, a quantity of a suspected controlled dangerous substance and various items of drug paraphernalia were located in a closet in the classroom.”
He added Thompson had since been charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (fentanyl), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Endangering Welfare of Children. Battiloro continued:
“Thompson has been served with a complaint-summons through his attorney and is scheduled to present himself to Central Judicial Processing on February 1, 2023 at 8:30 AM.”
The art teacher has apparently been a part of the Westfield Public School District for around 30 years, according to the school’s website. While his current employment status with the intermediate school was not immediately made clear, Superintendent Raymond González said in a statement:
“While the Westfield Public School District cannot comment on personnel matters which are confidential, we will maintain a continued focus on student and staff safety and on preserving the integrity of the classroom learning environment. We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Westfield Police Department.”
Chief Battiloro added:
“The Westfield Police Department continues to prioritize its ongoing partnership with the Westfield Public School System to ensure it has the safety and security resources it needs on a daily basis. In this case, the swift actions of Officer Riga, who is on-site at Roosevelt Intermediate each school day, proved instrumental in maintaining the safety of the students and administering potentially life-saving measures to Mr. Thompson.”
What are YOUR thoughts on the scary event, Perezcious readers? We can’t even begin to imagine how traumatizing it was for the poor students who found him, but thanks to them and Officer Riga, Thompson is still alive today.
If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.
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