California teacher accidentally fires gun in class, injures students

Seaside teacher, councilman and reserve officer accidentally discharges weapon in gun safety demonstration.

At approximately 1:20pm March 13 at Seaside High, Dennis Alexander, a math and administration of justice teacher who is also a Seaside city councilman and a reserve officer for Sand City Police Department, accidentally discharged his firearm during a gun safety demonstration.

Seaside Police Chief Abdul Pridgen told The Montreal County Weekly that the student was struck in the neck by "debris or fragmentation", but said it was not a bullet. Some of the bullet fragments ricocheted off the ceiling and pieces of concrete fell to the ground, causing three of the students to suffer "minor injuries". "It could have been very bad", Gonzales says.

'He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK, Gonzales said.

UPDATE 5:30pm: MPUSD superintendent PK Diffenbaugh confirms that incident took place during an administration of justice class, a career pathway class that is unique to Seaside High in the school district. He told KSBW that Alexander had told the class that he wanted to make sure the gun wasn't loaded when it accidentally discharged.

None of the injuries were serious and classes resumed at the school after the incident. In the photo, a Utah teacher is shown how to handle a handgun by instructor Clint Simon (R), at a concealed-weapons training class to 200 Utah teachers in West Valley City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2012.

Alexander has been placed on administrative leave as the officials look into the incident. We will also have counseling services available for students.

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

"I have concerns about why he was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom".

"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 said.

Teachers in California are not allowed to carry firearms inside the class, even if they have a carry permit for concealed weapons.

Alexander has taught the course in the past but Pridgen said he did not know if he had ever brought a live firearm to the school before.

He adds that, "Clearly, we will revisit this incident to ensure that something like this would never happen again".

The shooting occurred amid intense national debate over whether to arm teachers across the nation or come up with more sensible gun laws, which allowed the 19-year-old school Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, to legally purchase a military-style rifle.

Sand City police Chief Brian Ferrante described the teacher's track record as "positive and professional", however, he wondered why he brought a loaded gun in a classroom full of students. In 2013, he was awarded Reserve Officer of the Year. President Donald Trump has propagated the idea of arming teachers with guns.

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