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Middle School Teacher charged with fentanyl possession on school grounds

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Police arrested a seventh grade science teacher at the Saugus Middle High School last week (Thursday, Jan. 25) after seizing six grams of what they later determined to be fentanyl, a potent opioid she allegedly brought into the school with her.

Roxanne Plaskon, 52, of Beverly, pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of a Class A substance during her arraignment last Friday in Lynn District Court. She was released on personal recognizance, pending her next court appearance, which has been set for March 5.

It was an emergency 911 call to police regarding “a suspicious substance” found in a faculty bathroom that led to Plaskon’s arrest. Police who responded to the call observed a white powdery substance on a shelf in a second floor restroom. Less than an hour after the first call, police responded to a second report, this one about a substance discovered in a classroom. A police report noted that a similar white powdery substance in a pill bottle was found in a school bag belonging to the teacher. Plaskon told police that the pill bottle contained fentanyl, which she said she took for pain, according to the police report.

The evidence gathered by police included video surveillance showing Plaskon entering the restroom. Plaskon admitted to taking the fentanyl that day at school, according to the report. Soon after, police arrested her and took her to the police station.

“At the time of the incident, no other staff or students were in danger,” communications strategist Kelli O’Hara said in a brief statement on behalf of the Saugus Police Department.

Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Michael Hashem declined to comment on the situation. He would not say how long Plaskon had worked at the Middle School and whether she faced disciplinary action. He provided The Saugus Advocate the following statement he issued to news media following Plaskon’s arrest:

“This message is to inform the Saugus Public School community that there was an incident today concerning a staff member at the Saugus Middle High School Complex which required the intervention of the Saugus Police Department. The allegations concerning this employee are deeply concerning to the Saugus Public Schools and the Town of Saugus and the employee was arrested at that time. The school department has worked cooperatively with the Saugus Police Department and will continue to do so. Both the Saugus Administration and Saugus Police Department addressed the situation, following the appropriate procedures and laws, to make sure that at no time was the safety of students or staff in jeopardy. Since this matter is the subject of an ongoing investigation and involves a personnel matter I cannot make any further comment. Any further questions may be addressed to the Saugus Police Department.”

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