As first appeared in NewsBreak
By Aron Solomon
According to FOX 5 New York, 57-year-old Frank Thompson was found unconscious and unresponsive on the floor of his second-floor classroom in a Westfield, NJ, middle school just after the school day began on November 29th.
As per the FOX report, a school nurse was actively treating him in front of students when the police arrived. A police officer then used Narcan on Thompson, who began to show signs of improvement. Police late said they found fentanyl and drug paraphernalia in a closet in his classroom.
Thompson was charged on Thursday with drug charges and endangering the welfare of children charges. He is scheduled to be processed on February 1st.
Under New Jersey law, using, possessing, distributing, or manufacturing controlled substances such as fentanyl is generally illegal. If you are caught using drugs in front of children, you could face criminal charges and potential consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. Additionally, if the use of drugs in front of children is deemed to be neglectful or abusive, you could also face child abuse charges.
John B. Brennan, a Marlton criminal lawyer, points out that:
“The teacher will face serious charges as the legal system in New Jersey will not take kindly to the endangerment of the students in this middle school, who were forced to witness their teacher resuscitated from a drug overdose.”
This is yet another example of how widespread the fentanyl problem has become in New Jersey and nationwide. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is extremely potent and can be deadly even in small doses. It has become a major public health problem in the United States due to its high potential for abuse and overdose.
In recent years, the number of deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids has increased significantly. In 2019, more than 31,000 overdose deaths in the United States involved synthetic opioids, and the vast majority of these deaths involved fentanyl. The opioid epidemic continues to be a major public health crisis in the United States, and fentanyl is a significant contributor to this crisis.
While it is difficult to quantify the extent of the fentanyl problem in schools, it is important to note that fentanyl and other opioids can be dangerous and potentially lethal for young people, even in small amounts. It is critically important for schools to be aware of the potential for students to be exposed to these substances, as the New Jersey classroom case highlights.
It is also essential for schools to have systems in place to address substance abuse and to provide support to students who may be struggling with addiction. Stories such as these should serve to heighten awareness that in all schools, even middle schools in affluent communities, students and parents concerned about the possibility of fentanyl or other drugs being present in school should immediately speak with school officials or a trusted adult for guidance and support.
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor-in-Chief for Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, YouTube, NewsBreak, and many other leading publications.