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Ex-teacher who shot toilet pleads no contest to discharging firearm

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TAYLORSVILLE — A former elementary school teacher who was injured when she accidentally shot a toilet at school took a plea deal on Wednesday.

Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery, who is listed in court documents as Michelle Della Montgomery, was charged in Taylorsville Justice Court on Oct. 1 with discharging a firearm in city limits, a class B misdemeanor.

On Sept. 11, Montgomery — who was a sixth-grade teacher at Westbrook Elementary School, 3451 W. 6200 South, and is a concealed firearms permit holder — went into a restroom before school started and unholstered her 9mm Glock handgun. When she tried to holster the gun again, it fired, striking the toilet, sending porcelain fragments into her leg.

Montgomery suffered minor injuries. She resigned from her job a short time later.

On Wednesday, Montgomery pleaded no contest to the charge in Taylorsville Justice Court. She was given no jail time, but was ordered to take a firearms safety course and show the court proof of completion by Jan. 5, pay a $705 fee, submit a copy of her criminal record to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification and submit a letter to the court when those issues had been resolved, according to court records.

Her conviction is part of a plea in abeyance, which means the case will be dismissed if she completes the requirements after a certain amount of time.

Utah state law allows teachers to carry concealed weapons in classrooms as long as the weapons are not visible and the teacher doesn't announce that he or she is carrying. Additionally, permit holders are not required to tell principals or district administrators that they have a permit or whether they are carrying on any particular day, creating a "don't ask/don't tell" concealed weapons policy.

Because of that, school districts have no idea how many of their teachers have concealed weapons permits.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam