Police in New Jersey Say a Teacher Overdosed in the Classroom and is Now Facing Drug Charges
Police say that a Westfield art teacher is being charged with drug possession after he passed out in his classroom and had to be revived with Narcan.
At 9:06 a.m. on November 29, 2022, one of their school resource officers, Fortunato Riga, told Westfield police that a teacher was unconscious in a classroom on the second floor of Roosevelt Intermediate School.
Battiloro says that Riga found out about the situation from a school administrator. Riga found 57-year-old Frank Thompson sleeping on the floor of the classroom. Students saw that Thompson was upset, and the school nurse was helping him.
Riga saw signs of a drug overdose and gave Thompson the antidote naloxone, which is also sold under the brand name Narcan. This made Thompson’s condition much better.
During their investigation, the police found fentanyl and drug-related items in a classroom closet. Later, Thompson was charged with having a controlled substance, having drug paraphernalia, and putting a child’s safety in danger. He has a court date on February 1, 2023.
Battiloro says that every Westfield police officer has Narcan on them and that it will be used 13 times in 2022.
In a statement released on Jan. 6, Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said, “The Westfield Police Department continues to prioritise its ongoing partnership with the Westfield Public School System to make sure it has the safety and security resources it needs every day.”
“In this case, Officer Riga’s quick actions, who are there every day at Roosevelt Intermediate, helped keep students safe and gave Mr. Thompson steps that could have saved his life,” the chief said.
His school’s teaching page says that Thompson teaches visual art to 6th and 7th graders and arts and crafts to 8th graders.
Superintendent Dr. Raymond González said in a statement, “The Westfield Public School District cannot comment on confidential personnel matters, but we will continue to focus on the safety of students and staff and the quality of the classroom learning environment.” “We’re glad the Westfield Police Department and us work well together.”
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