California teacher accidentally discharges firearm during public safety lesson

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A teacher trained in gun use accidentally discharged a gun Tuesday in a classroom as he was giving a lesson on public safety at a California high school.

The weapon was pointed at the ceiling when it was accidentally discharged at Seaside High School in Monterey County, Calif., The Washington Post reported, citing a statement from the school.

The statement said the teacher, who was identified as Dennis Alexander, a math and administration of justice teacher, was placed on administrative leave for the duration of an 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,” a letter to parents said.

Seaside Police Chief Abdul Pridgen told the Monterey County Weekly that a student was struck with “debris or fragmentation from something overhead.” 

He said the student was not struck with a bullet and it was “not life-threatening.”

Police said the teacher — who serves as a reserve police officer for Sandy City and a Seaside city councilman — last had a gun safety training “a little less than a year ago.”

Police said he had the gun out in the classroom because he was “providing instruction related to public safety.”

The incident comes as gun control has become a national issue following the deadly shooting last month at a Florida high school.

Students who survived that shooting have become vocal advocates for gun control, demanding that lawmakers take action to keep their schools safe.

President Trump and members of Congress have been discussing ways to prevent future school shootings. Trump has raised the idea of having armed teachers in schools, arguing that it would deter potential school shooters. The proposal has been met with heavy criticism.

That has not deterred Trump. The administration on Sunday unveiled a series of proposals on school safety and gun restrictions, including a push for states to provide firearms training for school staff members.

White House officials said the administration will establish a federal commission to assess how to best address gun violence in schools, though it will not propose any legislation of its own.

Tags Donald Trump Florida shooting Gun control school security
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