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.
'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. "I wiped my neck and a bullet fragment fell off", student Fermin Gonzales IV told KSBW.
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.
The incident occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time (4:20 p.m. EDT) when Dennis Alexander was conducting Administration of Justice class and teaching the students about gun safety.More news: United States gun control: Trump accused of bowing to NRA pressure
The student injured during the California teacher's lecture has been released from the emergency room a couple of hours later.
'It could have been very bad, ' Gonzales said.
"We'll need to revisit protocol to make sure all staff members understand that is the policy", Diffenbaugh says. "We will be looking into that", Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante said.
The letter also stated that the district is unable to share any other details other than Alexander has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the on-going investigation.More news: McConnell says he hopes Senate Democrats do not block Pompeo or Haspel
Teachers are legally not allowed to have firearms in California classrooms, even if they have a permit.
"I think a lot of questions are on parents' minds are, why a teacher would be pointing a loaded firearm at the ceiling in front of students", Diffenbaugh told KSBW.
He adds that, "Clearly, we will revisit this incident to ensure that something like this would never happen again".
Alexander had been a reserve Sand City police officer for 11 years. In 2013, he was awarded Reserve Officer of the Year.More news: Amitabh Bachchan says he is fine
The shooting comes a day before students and teachers across the country participate on walk out to honor the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas and call for stricter gun control laws. Among the proposals advanced is training and arming teachers, an approach favored by President Trump, among others but opposed by a majority of the teachers in the National Education Association, including many who said in an NEA survey that it would make them feel less safe.