From Eric Wittenberg's Civil War Cavalry Blog www.civilwarcavalry.com
Superintendent accidentally discharges muzzleloader in class
ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff | Posted: Monday, March 8, 2010 10:19 pm | (60) Comments
Dwain Haggard’s high school history lesson on Friday backfired.
Haggard, who used to be a Civil War reenactor, was showing the five students in Reed Point High’s American history class his replica antique black powder muzzleloader when the gun fired and lodged a ball in the front wall of the classroom.
“I can’t explain how it was loaded,” Haggard said.
Haggard has been district superintendent since 2007, and each year he’s visited the high school’s American history class to show off his Civil War-era equipment. When he shows the muzzleloader, he finishes the demonstration by firing a cap, which makes a small “pop” when he pulls the trigger, he said.
But this time, “when I dropped the hammer on it, to all of our surprise, it went off,” he said.
Jake Bare, a junior at Reed Point High, was in the class when the gun fired. He said it caught everybody off guard.
When Haggard pulled the trigger, there was a loud bang,and the room filled with smoke, Bare said.
“Holy criminy, you just shot the map,” he said.
Indeed, the ball shot through the “o” in the word “North” at the top of the map and lodged in the wall, Haggard said.
The gun was never pointed at the students once Haggard inserted the cap. He was facing away from the students, pointing the gun toward the ceiling when he pulled the trigger.
The students were “never really in danger,” he said.
After settling down the students and dismissing class, Haggard said, he called the school board to explain what happened and then called the parents of the five students.
“None of them were upset with me,” he said.
One father, he said, laughed until he cried.
The board and his staff have been supportive, he said.
He described the incident as “bitter irony.” As superintendent, Haggard has worked with the school to increase safety at the school, updating its drills and the training staff receives.