Calif. Teacher, Reserve Officer, Councilman Accidentally Discharges A Firearm In School’s Gun Safety Course, One Child Injured

A teacher who also serves as a reserve police officer and city councilman accidentally fired a pistol while lecturing about public safety in a Seaside High School classroom, police say.   Crackpot Dennis Alexander allegedly fired the shot at about 1:20 p.m. Tuesday while teaching his Administration of Justice class. cm-dennis-alexander-web-e1520998554403

He was pointing the gun at the ceiling when he inadvertently fired it, said Abdul Pridgen, chief of the Seaside Police Department.

One student suffered an injury to his neck from either bullet fragments or debris falling from the ceiling, Pridgen said. The student’s parents took him to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, he said.

Alexander had been teaching a room of 16- and 17-year-old students about public safety awareness, police said.

safety awareness, police said.

School resumed shortly after the incident once police and staff determined it was safe, said Marci McFadden, chief of communication and engagement with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.

Alexander also serves as a reserve police officer for the Sand City police and is a Seaside city councilman.

Police and school administrators say they are investigating whether Alexander was legally allowed to have a gun on campus. Guns and other weapons are prohibited on campus, though there are exceptions involving law enforcement, Pridgen said.

The Monterey school district’s policy prohibits anyone besides school resource officers from carrying guns and other weapons on campus, McFadden said.

Alexander has been put on administrative leave during the investigation, though it wasn’t clear whether it was paid or unpaid leave, McFadden said. The school will have counselors available to students Wednesday.

The incident comes amid a national debate on school safety and whether teachers should be armed on school campuses.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police at (831) 899-6282.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:   AP
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd