New Jersey art teacher overdoses on fentanyl in front of middle school students, police say

A New Jersey art teacher was arrested after he overdosed on fentanyl in front of students at a Westfield school, police said.

Frank Thompson, 57, was charged Thursday with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of children in connection with an incident in November.

Westfield police received a report on the morning of Nov. 29 from a school resource officer that Thompson had been found "unconscious and unresponsive" on a classroom floor at Roosevelt Intermediate School.

Thompson, an art teacher, “was discovered and observed in distress by students” and was being treated by a school nurse, police said.

Authorities said the school resource officer observed signs of a drug overdose and administered naloxone hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, an opioid overdose treatment. Thompson then showed signs of improvement.

Afterward, investigators found fentanyl and “various items of drug paraphernalia” in a closet in the classroom, authorities said.

Thompson is due in court Feb. 1.

"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," Superintendent Raymond González said in a statement. "We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Westfield Police Department."

It is unclear whether Thompson is still employed by the Westfield Public School District.