Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Gun Safety Teacher Accidentally Fires Gun, Injures Three Students

Alexander was teaching a firearm safety class when the weapon discharged sending a bullet into the ceiling of the classroom Alexander was teaching a firearm safety class when the weapon discharged sending a bullet into the ceiling of the classroom
Kenny Thornton | 14 March, 2018, 20:13

A teacher accidentally discharged a firearm while teaching a public safety class, injuring one student at a Northern California school on Tuesday, police said.

According to the official report, the incident occurred at around 1:20 p.m., during a public safety awareness class held by Dennis Alexander, a Seaside High School teacher, city councilman, and a reserve officer.

Two other students were also injured by debris, but police said all of their injuries are minor.

The student's father Fermin Gonzales said he understands that it was an accident but said that "somebody could have died".

Three students were injured by debris, including a 17-year-old whose father told KSBW-TV his son sustained moderate injuries when bullet fragments lodged in his neck.

As the police investigate the incident, Alexander has been temporarily suspended by the school.

The incident comes amid a national debate on school safety and whether teachers should be armed on school campuses. The gun went off as Alexander accidentally discharged it into the ceiling.

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"We'll need to revisit protocol to make sure all staff members understand that is the policy", Diffenbaugh says.

Alexander has been placed on administrative leave from both the school and Sand City Police Department.

The student injured during the California teacher's lecture has been released from the emergency room a couple of hours later. "It could have been very bad", Gonzales said.

"I think a lot of questions on parents' minds are, why a teacher would be pointing a loaded firearm at the ceiling in front of students", Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh said, who also sent out a letter to the parents, explaining the situation to them.

He adds that, "Clearly, we will revisit this incident to ensure that something like this would never happen again". Alexander is also a police officer and Seaside mayor pro tem.

Alexander has served as a reserve officer for more than a decade and was named Reserve Officer of the Year in 2013 by the California Reserve Peace Officers Association for heroics during the course of duty, Ferrante told local media that Alexander, who has a history of positive professionalism.

Gonzales said Tuesday's incident changed his views about President Donald Trump's recent proposal to arm teachers.

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