A California teacher injured a high school student Tuesday after mistakenly discharging his firearm during a firearm safety class.
According to the Sand City Police Department, reserve officer Dennis Alexander was teaching a lesson at Seaside High School when he pointed his gun into the ceiling and accidentally fired it.
A 17-year-old student received superficial injuries when hit by bullet fragments and ceiling debris, CNN reports. NBC News is also reporting that three students were injured by the ceiling debris.
“I think a lot of questions on parents' minds are, why a teacher would be pointing a loaded firearm at the ceiling in front of students,” Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh told KSBW. “Clearly, in this incident, protocols were not followed.”
“It's the craziest thing,” said parent Fermin Gonzales, who told KSBW that he learned of his son's injury when the boy came home. “It could have been very bad.”
The school district has placed Alexander on administrative leave during an investigation. School district officials told the Monterey County Weekly that Alexander was not authorized to carry a firearm on school grounds.
Guns in schools are illegal in California, but there is an exception for peace officers or those granted specific permission.