New Jersey Middle School Art Teacher Facing Charges After Overdosing on Fentanyl in Front of Students

A New Jersey middle school art teacher is facing charges after overdosing on Fentanyl in front of students.

Frank Thompson, 57, an art teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School, has been charged with drug-related crimes and offenses, as well as endangering the welfare of children, following the November incident.

Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said in a statement “that on November 29, 2022, at approximately 0906 hours, the Westfield Police Department received a report from Roosevelt’s School Resource Officer, Fortunato Riga, of an unconscious teacher in a second-floor classroom. He was alerted to the situation by a school administrator, who was requesting his assistance on scene.”

“Officer Riga arrived to find Frank Thompson, an Art teacher, unconscious and unresponsive on the classroom floor. Thompson was discovered and observed in distress by students and was actively being treated by a school nurse,” the statement continued. “Officer Riga perceptively observed signs indicative of a drug overdose. He deployed and administered the Naloxone Hydrochloride (or ‘Narcan’) he carries on his person, which resulted in Thompson showing marked signs of improvement.”

The police subsequently found “a suspected controlled dangerous substance and various items of drug paraphernalia” in a classroom closet.

On January 5, Thomas was charged.

“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,” said Chief Battiloro. “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.”

Thompson is scheduled to appear in court on February 1, 2023, at 8:30 AM.

“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,” says Superintendent Dr. Raymond González. “We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Westfield Police Department.


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