A California teacher who also works as a reserve police officer is under investigation after he accidentally fired a loaded gun in a classroom filled with students, injuring three.
KSBW 8 reports that Dennis Alexander was teaching a course about gun safety for his Administration of Justice class at Seaside High School when his gun went off. During the presentation, Alexander reportedly told students that he had to make sure the gun wasn’t loaded and pointed it at the ceiling. It was then the gun fired, breaking ceiling tiles, causing minor injuries to two students. One student was injured when bullet fragments hit him in the neck.
Alexander apologized to students following the incident but school officials did not check students for injuries. The father of the student injured by bullet fragments rushed him to the hospital after he returned home with blood on his shirt.
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh issued the following statement to parents following the incident.
“We want to make you aware of an accident that occurred in the Administration of Justice class today at Seaside High School. As some of you may know, the teacher is a reserve police officer. Today, during class, the teacher accidentally discharged his firearm during a lesson while it was pointed at the ceiling. Debris from the ceiling then fell. 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. 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. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the on-going investigation. 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.”
Alexander has been placed on administrative leave from his teaching position at Seaside High School, and he was also placed on administrative leave at the Sand City Police Department.