Seaside High teacher believed to have accidentally fired gun in class

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

One month after the deadly Valentine's Day Florida school massacre, which claimed 17 innocent lives, a teacher from Seaside High School, California, accidentally fired a gun during a safety class on Tuesday.

Dennis Alexander accidentally fired a pistol while discussing public safety in a Seaside High School classroom, according to police.


The teacher was identified as Dennis Alexander, a reserve police officer for Sand City, according to a press release from the Seaside Police Department.

A 17-year-old student was injured by a bullet fragment or by debris that fell off the ceiling, Pridgen said. The teacher reportedly apologized to the stunned group of students. But Fermin Gonzales, father of the boy injured in the neck, said he only became aware of what happened when his son returned home with blood on his shirt-so his parents took him to hospital for X-rays.

None of the injuries were serious and classes resumed at the school after the incident.

"The safety of your student is always our top priority, and we will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to keep them safe while they are under our care", the statement said.

It was not clear if the he was placed on a paid or unpaid leave.

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Exactly why the teacher was displaying the weapon at all was not entirely clear.

Teachers are legally not allowed to have firearms in California classrooms, even if they have a permit.

"We're looking into any violation of city ordinance or the penal code and we'll determine whether or not there are any applicable charges", Pridgen postulated.

"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", Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh told CNN affiliate KSBW.

Alexander is also being placed on leave with the local police department. His track record was described as "positive and professional" and he was also made the 2013 Reserve Office of the Year. "Clearly in this incident protocols were not followed".

The incident comes amid a national debate on how to protect students from mass shootings like the one that took the lives of 17 students in Parkland, Fla., on February 14. Trump has raised the idea of arming teachers in schools, arguing that it would deter potential school shooters.

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