Teacher, Reserve Cop Accidentally Fires Gun In California School

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Three students from a Monterey County school are recovering from bullet fragment wounds after their teacher accidentally fired a gun in class during a gun safety lesson.

Dennis Alexander was teaching public safety for his Administration of Justice class in Seaside High School when a shot went off around 1:20 p.m., reports CBS Monterey, California affiliate KION-TV.

A Seaside High School teacher, who also served as a reserve police officer and a city councilman in Seaside, California, accidentally fired a gun inside the classroom.

Alexander was teaching his students about public safety awareness when the gun went off and injured a student, who was hit in the neck by either bullet fragments or debris, Seaside Police Chief Abdul Pridgen said. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the on-going investigation. As some of you may know, the teacher is a reserve police officer.

Dennis Alexander, a long time teacher, a former Peace Corps volunteer, is involved in scores of community-based programs as a volunteer, a reserve police officer, teaches his math class in Spanish, and is Mayor Pro Tem of the city of Seaside, apologized to his students and was then placed on leave following the incident. "It could have been very bad". He planned to teach his students how to disarm someone and fired the gun at the ceiling to make sure it wasn't loaded... yes, seriously. Most of the students attending the class were between the ages of 16 and 17 years, the Californian reported. We will also have counseling services available for students. "It was determined that there was no immediate threat to students or staff, and school remained in session", the district said in a statement. Pridgen said class resumed after the incident was brought under control. He says his department will do an administrative investigation of the incident once Seaside PD completes its investigation.

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.

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

He adds that, "Clearly, we will revisit this incident to ensure that something like this would never happen again". "We will be looking into that", Ferrante said. His track record was described as "positive and professional" and he was also made the 2013 Reserve Office of the Year.