A California teacher who was a reserve officer for the local police department and trained in firearms accidentally fired a loaded gun in his classroom on Tuesday.
The teacher, who worked as a math teacher at Seaside High School in Monterey County, appeared to have been “providing instruction related to public safety” for another class he taught called administration of justice, according to a police statement.
Instead, the teacher fired the gun into the ceiling, and some kind of “debris or fragmentation” struck a 17-year-old student in the neck, police told the Monterey County Weekly. The student’s father told KSBW 8 that the student returned home from school with bullet fragments in his neck.
The Sand City police chief said the teacher had been a reserve officer for 11 years and that he was “positive and professional.” The officer told the Monterey County Weekly that the teacher had his last gun safety training less than a year ago.
The teacher was placed on administrative leave. It is illegal for a non-authorized person to carry a firearm in California classrooms, and the school district superintendent told the Monterey County Weekly that the teacher was not authorized by the school.
Training teachers to handle firearms has become a popular proposal among conservatives seeking alternative solutions to school shooting prevention that do not involve gun control. On Monday, the White House announced it planned to proceed with its plan to arm and train teachers across the country.
On Wednesday, students across the country planned to walk out of their classes at 10 a.m. to protest gun violence, a month after 17 people died at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Parkland students, who have led the nationwide protest movement, have vocally opposed the idea of arming teachers.