Education

Teacher Accidentally Discharges Firearm, Injures Three Students

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A California teacher accidentally discharged a firearm Tuesday, injuring three students in his classroom.

Seaside High School teacher Dennis Alexander accidentally fired the gun into the ceiling of his classroom while trying to ensure it was not loaded, reported KSBW-TV. Alexander holds another job as a reserve police officer.

None of the impacted students suffered “serious injuries,” according to the Seaside Police Department. A 17-year-old male student received moderate injuries from bullet fragments which hit the ceiling and penetrated his neck.

“It’s the craziest thing,” said the father of that student, Fermin Gonzales, to KSBW. “It could have been very bad.”

“[My son]’s shaken up, but he’s going to be OK,” Gonzales said. “I’m just pretty upset that no one told us anything and we had to call the police ourselves to report it.”

Both Seaside High School and Sand City Police Department placed Alexander on leave. The teacher was reportedly attempting to demonstrate how students could disarm someone using a gun during a gun safety segment. California law forbids teachers from carrying firearms in classrooms. (RELATED: Reporter Asks White House About Cost Of Arming Teahers — The Blunt Response Made The Room Go Silent)

“I have concerns about why he was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom,” Sand City police chief Brian Ferrante said. “We will be looking into that.”

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But Ferrante described the record of Alexander, who has served as a reserve officer for 11 years, as “positive and professional.”

“Upon learning of the incident, our Human Resources department, school site administration and the Seaside Police Department immediately began investigating the incident, including interviewing students in the class,” PK Diffenbaugh, superintendent of Monterey Peninsula Unified School District said in a letter to parents. “We will also have counseling services available for students. Due to the nature of this personnel incident, we are unable to share any other details.”

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