New Jersey elementary school teacher arrested after allegedly overdosing on fentanyl in front of students

The teacher was found unconscious and unresponsive in front of students.

A New Jersey middle school teacher is facing multiple drug charges after allegedly overdosing on fentanyl in a classroom.

According to the Westfield Police Department, School Resource Officer Fortunato Riga responded to the second-floor classroom at Roosevelt Intermediate School at 9 am on Nov. 29, where he found a nurse treating the teacher who was found unconscious and unresponsive in front of students.

The responding police officer recognized signs of a drug overdose and administered naloxone hydrochloride, or Narcan, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose.

The teacher, Frank Thompson, 57, was charged on Jan. 5 with possession of fentanyl, possession of drug paraphernalia, and endangering the welfare of children.

According to police, investigators found drugs and "various items of drug paraphernalia" in a closet in Thompson's classroom.

Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said in a statement, "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.”

According to Fox 5, classes were temporarily held in a different location while the classroom was sanitized. 

Superintendent Dr. 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.”

Thompson faces drug charges as well as charges for endangering the welfare of children and is scheduled to be processed on Feb. 1, 2023.

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