High school teacher injures student by accidentally firing a gun during firearm safety class
The attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month has reignited the debate surrounding gun control in America, or the lack thereof. The rampage, which is the deadliest school shooting since 2012, saw 17 people lose their lives after suspected gunman, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire with a semiautomatic AR-15 and began shooting students he saw in the hallways and on school grounds.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the Trump administration proposed providing certain school personnel with "rigorous" firearms training. President Trump also backed a bill to make criminal background checks on gun buyers more thorough, although, he countered this by back-pedalling on increasing the minimum age to buy some firearms - a policy which he had previously endorsed.
While not yet implemented a potential problem with that first initiative seems to have been raised: a teacher at a Northern California school accidentally discharged a firearm while teaching a public safety class.
A teacher and reserve police officer has been place on leave after he mistakenly fired a gun in a classroom, injuring one student.
Dennis Alexander was teaching students about gun safety for his Administration of Justice class at Seaside High School in Northern California when his weapon went off at around 1:20pm on Tuesday. The gun was pointed towards the ceiling when it was fired, and this caused pieces of rubble to fall to the ground.
Fermin Gonzales stated that his 17-year-old son was injured during the incident and had to be taken to hospital to have the bullet fragments in his neck removed. Speaking to local media outlet, KSBW, the parent said that Alexander has told the class that he wanted to ensure that the gun wasn't loaded when it accidentally discharged.
"It could have been very bad," Gonzales asserted.
According to Gonzales, school officials did not pause to check if students were injured following the mistaken firing. He alleged that his son came home with blood on his shirt and fragments of the bullet in his neck. "He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK," he added.
Speaking to The Montreal County Weekly, Seaside Police Chief Abdul Pridgen countered Mr. Gonzales' statement, saying that the student was struck in the neck by "debris or fragmentation", not a bullet.
Despite the President's proposed initiative, teachers are not legally permitted to have firearms in Californian classrooms. Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante told KSBW that he's therefore concerned about why the reserve police officer had a loaded gun in the school. "We will be looking into that,' he said. "My first concern was that no one was hurt."
Dennis Alexander has since been placed on administration leave from the school and the Sand City Police Department.
Seaside High School has issued a statement on the incident, stating that counselling services will be provided for students experiencing distress;
"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 counselling services available for students. ... 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."
In related news, here's what happened when they "gave Israeli teachers guns".