US teacher shoots herself in leg

LOS ANGELES - An elementary teacher in Utah accidentally shot herself in the leg with a concealed weapon she had carried into school Thursday, a spokesman said.

The 6th grade teacher was treated in hospital after the incident in a bathroom at the Westbrook Elementary School, shortly before morning classes.

No-one else was injured in the incident, which involved a concealed weapon the teacher was fully entitled to carry, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley.

"This was an accidental shooting," he told AFP, adding: "Somehow in the restroom the weapon discharged. She was injured as a result of that.

"A lot people are wondering why we didn't stop her coming onto campus. Well frankly, we weren't aware that she was carrying a gun. Under state law she isn't required to disclose that to her employer.

"It's for her own personal private protection," he said, adding: "No-one was injured or directly threatened as a result of the discharge of the weapon." Despite the incident, lessons proceeded as normal at the school, although crisis counsellors were available and there was some "appropriate age level" discussion with students.

"In some cases we didn't even disclose that the teacher had been shot, because most students were unaware of what had actually occurred," said the spokesman.

School shootings are a common occurrence in the United States, each briefly generating public debate on gun control or restrictions on bringing weapons onto educational campuses.

The teacher involved in Thursday's incident had worked for the school district for 14 years, Horsley said.