A middle school teacher in New Jersey has been fired after allegedly overdosing on fentanyl in front of his class, per NPR.
Frank Thompson, 57, was an art teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield, N.J., and has been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of children.
Police said they found Thompson lying unconscious in a second-floor classroom after they had received a call from the school.
“Thompson was discovered and observed in distress by students and was actively being treated by a school nurse,” police said in a statement.
Thompson received a dose of naloxone from a school resource officer before police arrived, police said. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an overdose.
Frank Thompson Overdoses
“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,” said Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro.
Thompson’s bio on WestfieldNJ.com reads:
“I’ve always loved art. In school, art was the subject I looked forward to the most. As a child I loved to draw. When I got older and gained experience in various mediums I discovered I enjoyed many forms of visual expression, including sculpture, ceramics, weaving, mosaic, and jewelry making. As a student, first in public school and then college, I can remember the freedom I felt through creative expression and the sense of accomplishment that came from learning a new process or technique.
I feel that I can make use of all that involvement in art has to offer, for is what I know best and feel most passionately for. This is why I decided to become an art teacher. Its my strong belief that the active manipulation of the senses that activities in art entail make other subjects more meaningful. A quality art experience in conjunction with academics will surely produce a more well-rounded, higher thinking individual. This makes teaching in a town like Westfield, which is so supportive of the arts, a pleasure and a great opportunity.”
He is due in court on Feb. 1.