Today in “This is exactly why schools should be gun-free zones” news, a Seaside, Calif., teacher—who is also a reserve police officer, mind you—somehow accidentally fired a gun inside a local high school classroom on Tuesday, injuring three students.
What makes this even more depressing? The incident occurred during a course about gun safety.
According to KSBW-TV, Dennis Alexander was leading the Administration of Justice class at Seaside High School when his firearm went off at about 1:20 p.m. Alexander was pointing the weapon to the ceiling when it went off, causing pieces of the ceiling to fall to the floor.
The Seaside Police Department confirmed that while no one suffered “serious injuries,” one 17-year-old boy suffered “moderate” injuries after fragments from the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling and hit his neck.
Alexander had, in fact, told the class that he wanted to make sure the gun wasn’t loaded when it went off, Fermin Gonzales, the father of the injured teen, told the news station.
“It’s the craziest thing. It could have been very bad,” Gonzales said.
What was really crazy was that after the gun went off, Alexander apparently apologized and went on doing what he was doing. No one at the school, according to Gonzales, checked to make sure that everyone was OK. So you can imagine how shocked the Gonzales family was when the teen returned home with blood on his shirt and bullet fragments in his neck. His parents had to rush him to the hospital to be examined.
“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.”
Alexander was placed on administrative leave from his teaching position at the high school as well as with the Sand City, Calif., Police Department.
“I have concerns about why he was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom. We will be looking into that,” Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante told KSBW.
Not to mention that in California, teachers are not allowed to have firearms in classrooms, even if they do have a concealed carry permit.
This all went on the day before the National Student Walkout, with students marching for their very lives, demanding new gun laws ... and while lawmakers are debating arming teachers and having more “trained” individuals—like Alexander, I bet—to keep students ... safe?
Oh, I should also mention that a similar incident occurred the same exact day on the East Coast at a Virginia school.
In this scenario, another “trained professional,” a school resource officer, somehow accidentally fired his gun inside a middle school in Alexandria. The shot was fired as the officer, a five-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department, was sitting down in his office, according to NBC Washington.
“I just think it was an accident that happened, and we’re going to investigate it and find out, and we’re going to move forward,” Capt. D.C. Hayes said.
At least in this case, the officer checked the area for any injuries and confirmed that everyone in the school was OK.
Of course, in light of this, the head of the Alexandria school system, interim Superintendent Lois Berlin, voiced her concern about arming teachers.
“We had this happen with someone who’s a highly trained officer. I think that speaks for itself,” Berlin said.
Parents, naturally, agree.
“We’re talking about arming teachers, and even the security personnel that are trained can’t seem to make it work,” one parent told the news station.