Parkland Teacher Arrested After Leaving Loaded Gun In Public Bathroom

Sean Simpson has previously supported the student activists agitating for gun control and also expressed that he would be open to arming staff members.

A Stoneman Douglas High School teacher has been charged with failing to properly store his weapon after leaving his Glock 9mm in a public restroom, where a drunk homeless man found the gun and fired it.

Sean Simpson, a 43-year-old science teacher, volunteered to carry a weapon while teaching to protect students. While at the Deerfield Beach Pier in Broward County on Sunday, he left his gun in a stall. After realizing he had forgotten the weapon in the bathroom, he returned to retrieve it. On his way back, he heard a shot.

Simpson told police he removed his gun from the hands of 69-year-old Joseph Spataro, who was charged with trespassing and firing a weapon while intoxicated.

Although the bullet merely hit a wall, police noted the possibility for a much more dangerous occurrence.

“There was a reasonable likelihood that the firearm could have ended up in the hands of a child or the discharge of the firearm could have wounded another person or child,” the arrest report said.

Simpson has previously supported the student activists agitating for gun control and also expressed that he would also be open to arming staff members.

“I know there are some of us that are willing to take the training if it was offered and probably be another line of defense. But again, that is a complicated subject, and I’m not sure if it’s the answer,” he said. “I think it’s easier to get these types of weapons out of the hands of people that aren’t meant to do anything but kill.”

Although some teachers around the country have expressed support for the suggestion that arming educators could help prevent school shootings, the general response has not been positive. On Tuesday, the school board for Broward County, which encompasses Parkland, voted unanimously against arming staff members.

Simpsons' mistake seems to cast further doubt on whether arming teachers is judicious. One of the main points raised by critics of plans to arm teachers is that educators should be focused on teaching, not acting as both educators and armed protectors for students. Simpson has hurt the argument of people advocating arming staff members and reinforced the argument that providing more people with guns isn’t the best method of preventing gun violence.

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