A high school biology teacher said he was on a mission to improve school safety, but now he’s been arrested after reportedly going too far to prove his point.
It started on Thursday when Alfred Purcell III alerted school staff that he’d found a live bullet in the stairwell of Southbridge High School, WCVB reports.
Purcell used his radio to alert other staff members and the school was immediately sent into lockdown for an hour.
However, school security footage soon revealed that the biology teacher had actually placed the 9mm ammunition in the stairwell himself.
About ten minutes after dropping the bullet in the stairwell, Purcell went back and took a photo of it with his cellphone. That’s when he contacted the school staff.
He returned to his classroom, where he was soon arrested after his actions were discovered on the security footage.
Police noted alcohol on his breath which he denied, WCVB reports.
Purcell told authorities that he dropped the bullet on the floor to “prove to the school that they needed to get metal detectors.”
He was reportedly unhappy with how a prior incident involving bullets being found in the school was dealt with.
A shotgun and ammunition were later discovered in Purcell’s truck. He previously had a license to carry in Connecticut, but it had expired.
The teacher was charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, disturbing a school assembly, unlawful possession of ammunition, and two counts of carrying ammunition on school grounds.
Police Chief Shane Woodson told WBZ:
“If you think that we need metal detectors in this community, if you think there’s any other safety issues at our schools you should go through the appropriate channels.”
Brenda Torres, whose daughter attends the high school, called the incident “nervewracking” and “scary.” She hopes the school will look further into teachers’ backgrounds.
Purcell is currently being held on $500 bail. His contract is not being renewed at the high school.