Freedom Area teacher accused of snorting drugs with students appears in court

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NEW SEWICKLEY, Pa. - A teacher from the Freedom Area School District who is facing charges after police said he used drugs on campus with two students was in court Tuesday.

New Sewickley Township police said they got a tip about James Summers in November and had district officials install a hidden surveillance camera in his office.

According to police, the surveillance video showed Summers inhaling a substance through a tube and handing the substance to a student who also inhaled it.

Investigators said they have four other videos of Summers snorting a substance by himself.

District officials said no other staff members were involved.

Summers’ attorney, Steve Colafella, said the school district rushed to judgment against his client.

“We’re just trying to get him some help. He’s had a tremendous amount of support by people in his community who know him as a person. His family probably understands the problem, and everyone is trying to get him back on the right path,” Colafella said.

Following his arrest, Summers resigned, and continues to fight the charges.