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A High School Teacher's Gun Went Off During a Gun Safety Lesson

And it wasn't even the only accidental shooting that happened at a school that day.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
March 14, 2018, 7:11pm
Photo of Alexander via the Seaside city directory; photo of a gun by Scott Olson/Getty Images

A day before thousands of students marched out of their classrooms to rally for gun control after 17 people died at a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a teacher in California brought a firearm to school for a lesson about gun safety, CNN affiliate KSBW reports. Dennis Alexander, who also serves as a reserve police officer, was in the middle of teaching students at Seaside High School how to disarm a gunman when he accidentally wound up firing a shot, wounding three kids.


According to KSBW, Alexander told the students he wanted to make sure his firearm wasn't loaded—something you'd imagine one would do before bringing it into a high school—and pointed it into the air. That's when the gun went off, sending a bullet into the ceiling and bringing pieces of it tumbling to the floor.

Fragments from the bullet bounced off the ceiling and lodged into a 17-year-old boy's neck, leaving him bloodied. According to the kid's father, Fermin Gonzales, it wasn't until his son got home that he noticed his injury and took him to the hospital.

"He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK," Gonzales told KSBW. "I'm just pretty upset that no one told us anything and we had to call the police ourselves to report it."

Luckily, no one suffered any "serious injuries" during the gun safety demo gone wrong, according to the Seaside Police Department. The cops are investigating what happened in Alexander's class, and the school and the police department have both placed him on leave.

But Alexander's gun mishap wasn't the only potentially deadly shot that went off in one of America's schools on Tuesday. A school resource officer with five years of law enforcement experience accidentally discharged his weapon at a Virginia middle school that same day, though nobody was hurt. Both mishaps occurred just days after the White House made a public policy push to arm more teachers, rather than raise the age restriction on gun purchases, following the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting—a move not all educators are thrilled about.


"We had this happen with someone who's a highly trained officer," Alexandria Public Schools interim superintendent Lois Berlin told NBC 4. "I think that speaks for itself."

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Related: Florida Teachers Don't Want to Carry Guns