PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A substitute teacher at the Northgate School District in Pittsburgh is faces felony charges after he allegedly passed out in class from using heroin before school.
The school resource officer, Bellevue Police Sgt. Mike Hudson, found Christopher Chiappetta, 26, passed out around noon. Students told school officials the substitute art teacher left the classroom momentarily and conked out when he got back, CBS reports.
Hudson contacted school administrators, who woke Chiappetta up. The teacher initially denied anything was wrong, but police eventually found four baggies of heroin in his pocket and marijuana in his car. After the discovery, Chiappetta allegedly confessed to using heroin around 6 a.m. that morning, according to the news site.
“Unfortunately, it was a very realistic ‘show and tell’ where you can preach the message to students, but they got to see live, firsthand, the effects of a drug addiction problem,” Hudson told the television station.
“When a person makes a decision to use a narcotic, and he’s actually being a substitute teacher, that’s pretty severe drug usage, and he needs a lot of help,” Hudson said.
Hudson said he plans to reach out to students and parents to see if they need help, as well, after the teacher’s inappropriate conduct.
Chiappetta faces several drug-related charges, as well as endangering the welfare of children, CBS reports.
While it’s good to know Chiappetta isn’t a full-time teacher at the school, and can easily be dismissed for the incident, it’s disturbing that Northgate officials didn’t screen the alleged drug abuser before he reached the classroom.
It’s seems as though a simple drug test to secure a substitute teaching position would prevent future problems. Hopefully the school board will kick that idea around.
In the meantime, the teacher’s time in jail – he’s currently held on a $10,000 bond at the Allegheny County Jail – will give him a chance to sober up and reflect on how his alleged drug problem is making him look like an idiot.
Perhaps he could contact former Pittsburgh Public Schools science teacher Philicia Barbieri, who was hooked on heroin and helped rob a bank in 2011 to fuel her habit. She can no longer teach, but she’s now sober and working to help others with similar addictions, WPXI reports.
By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org