A California high school teacher accidentally fired his gun in a classroom on Tuesday, which injured three students.
The teacher at Seaside High School in Monterey County, who is reportedly trained in firearms usage, was giving a lesson on public safety when he accidentally discharged his gun, according to the Washington Post.
MPUSD is reporting no one was injured when a teacher accidentally discharged a firearm in class today. A letter has been sent to Seaside High School parents and I've included a screenshot of that letter below. The teacher, who is not being identified, was placed on leave. pic.twitter.com/hmd6Q504gq
— Caitlin Conrad (@CaitlinKSBW) March 13, 2018
The Associated Press reported that the teacher, Dennis Alexander — a reserve police officer and Seaside city councilman — was pointing the gun at the ceiling to make sure it wasn’t loaded when it went off. Three students were injured by debris from the shot, though none were struck by the bullet itself.
A father of one of those students said his son, 17, sustained moderate injuries from the bullet fragments striking his neck.
Alexander was placed on administrative leave both from his teaching job and from his position with the Sand City Police Department following the incident. It’s not clear what type of firearm Alexander had in the classroom.
The incident took place just as President Donald Trump and many Republican lawmakers have advocated for arming teachers to prevent school shootings like the one that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Student survivors from that shooting have since led a national movement called the Never Again Movement to end gun violence and keep guns out of their schools. On Wednesday, hundreds of students around the country have participated in a national walkout to protest gun violence and say “#enough” to mass shootings.