BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJanuary 9, 2023
1 year ago

57-Year-Old Teacher Collapses in Front of Students - Cops Make Sick Discovery in Classroom Closet

A New Jersey teacher who collapsed in front of his class is facing criminal charges after police say they found drugs stashed in a closet in his classroom.

On Nov. 29, Roosevelt Intermediate School art teacher Frank Thompson was reported unconscious on the floor of his classroom, according to a Friday news release from the Westfield, New Jersey, Police Department.

Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said the school’s resource officer, Fortunato Riga, responded to the classroom.

Students had found Thompson “in distress,” according to the release, which said a school nurse was trying to treat him.

Riga “perceptively observed signs indicative of a drug overdose,” the release said.

The resource officer then used the Narcan he carries, “which resulted in Thompson showing marked signs of improvement,” the release said.

But that was not the end of Thompson’s troubles.

The release said that after an investigation, “a quantity of a suspected controlled dangerous substance and various items of drug paraphernalia were located in a closet in the classroom.”

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As a result, on Thursday, the art teacher was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance -- fentanyl. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of children and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thompson is set to appear in court on Feb. 1.

"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," 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," he said.

The school system issued a statement about the incident.

“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,” Superintendent Raymond González said.

The school told parents that after the incident, the classroom was first sealed off and later sanitized, according to WNYW-TV.

It said the class met in a different room under the instruction of a former teacher who returned to oversee the class.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal

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