Guns on school property won’t decrease risks to students — they will increase them.
By Taryn Hoffman
Dennis Alexandr, a teacher and resource officer at Seaside High School in Seaside, CA, was teaching his Administration of Justice class about the importance of gun safety on the morning of March 13, 2018. The 2013 Reserve Officer of the Year was in the process of demonstrating how to disarm someone with a weapon when he pulled out his firearm and pointed it to the ceiling. Alexander told the students he “wanted to make sure his gun wasn’t loaded” when the weapon went off. He fired a shot into the air, sending pieces of the ceiling to the floor and leaving everybody stunned.
Students recounted the intense moment later that day, calling it a crazy occurrence that could have turned into something very bad. Alexander apologized to his students, still in disbelief, and classes continued as normal. No one called the police, put the school on lockdown, or checked for injuries.
Later that day, when a 17-year-old boy got home from school, his parents were shocked to see blood on his shirt and bullet fragments in his neck. It was the first time anybody noticed that somebody had been injured during the accident. In total, three students suffered injuries.
Fermin Gonzales, the 17-year-old’s father, was very upset when he heard about Alexander’s gun performance and weapon firing. But he was also angry that no one had even contacted the police.
“We had to call the police ourselves to report it,” Gonzales told news reporters.
The boy had been hit when pieces of the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling and lodged into his neck. He was rushed to the hospital for X-rays and was diagnosed with non-life-threatening injuries.