Teacher accidentally shoots self in leg at Utah school

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah elementary school teacher who was carrying a concealed firearm at work accidentally shot herself in the leg when the weapon discharged in a faculty bathroom shortly before class Thursday morning, officials said.

Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said the teacher at Westbrook Elementary School, in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, was severely injured when the bullet entered and exited her leg, and she was rushed to a hospital.

No other faculty or students were in the area, he said.

Officials are still investigating how the gun discharged.

Horsley wouldn’t release details about the woman or what she taught, but he said she was carrying the weapon legally with a concealed firearm permit.

Utah is among the few states that allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in public schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Educators have said they have no way of determining how many Utah teachers are armed, but gun-rights advocates have estimated that 1 percent, or about 240 teachers in the state, are licensed to carry weapons.

Utah teachers are allowed to carry guns, but the weapons must be completely concealed and kept with the teacher at all times, including inside a bathroom stall, according to the state office of education.

Teachers and staff without a concealed carry permit can still bring a gun to school if an administrator approves, if they happen to live on school property, or if they work in law enforcement.

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