Cops: Middle School Art Teacher ODs in Front of Students

They allegedly watched as school nurse treated him for fentanyl on classroom floor
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2023 3:00 AM CST
Cops: Middle School Art Teacher Overdoses in Front of Students
Stock photo   (Getty Images / Darwin Brandis)

On the morning of Nov. 29, a New Jersey middle school art teacher allegedly overdosed on fentanyl in front of his students. Police say Frank Thompson, 57, "was discovered and observed in distress by students" and was "unconscious and unresponsive" on the floor of a Roosevelt Intermediate School classroom. A school nurse and school resource officer assisted, and when the officer suspected a drug overdose, he administered the opioid overdose treatment Narcan and the teacher's condition improved, NBC News reports. Police say students were watching as the nurse initially treated Thompson, Fox 5 reports. The district later told parents the classroom was ultimately sealed off and sanitized.

Police say they found fentanyl and drug paraphernalia in a closet in the classroom. Thompson was arrested and was charged Thursday with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and 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," the superintendent said in a statement that did not disclose whether Thompson remains employed by the district. "We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Westfield Police Department." (More New Jersey stories.)

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