This past Thursday, one middle school teacher from New Jersey has been hit with charges after allegedly overdosing in a classroom this past November.
The police chief for Westfield, New Jersey, announced the placing of charges this past Friday, stating that 57-year-old Frank Thompson, the art teacher in question, “has been charged with drug-related crimes and offenses, as well as endangering the welfare of children.”
“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,” explained Superintendent Dr. Raymond González. “We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Westfield Police Department.”
On the morning of November 29th, the resource officer for Roosevelt Intermediate School called in the police because of “an unconscious teacher” laying in one of the classrooms. Thompson was “unconscious and unresponsive on the classroom floor.” Reportedly, students discovered the art teacher, and a nurse for the school was attempting to provide aid to him.
The resource officer did note that Thompson appeared to be dealing with a drug overdose and issued him a dose of Naloxone Hydrochloride. top which Thompson responded well. These events kicked off an investigation, and “suspected controlled dangerous substance and various items of drug paraphernalia” were found stashed inside of a small closet inside of the classroom.
The drug Naloxone Hydrochloride was utilized by the Westfield Police to assist people suspected of overdosing on drugs a total of 13 times throughout last year.
Thompson was issued a charge of “Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (fentanyl),” along with “Possession of Drug Paraphernalia,” and “Endangering Welfare of Children.”
“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,” stated Chief Christopher 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.”
As part of a Monday announcement from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Rocky Mountain Division, the group explained that it brought in more than 5.8 million deadly doses of fentanyl over the last year.
The DEA reportedly also claimed that last month that it had managed to confiscate well over 50.6 million doses of fentanyl in pill form and well over 10,000 pounds of powdered fentanyl, which would have been more than enough to kill the entire nation.