Teachers sometimes have trouble getting their students’ attention, but a Virginia vocational instructor took the wrong approach — he lined up his charges, pulled out a realistic looking gun, and fired blanks at them.

The 60-year-old instructor, Manuael Ernest Dillow of Kingsport, VA, reportedly “pulled a ‘blank firing handgun,’ black in color, from the back waistband of his pants and discharged the weapon between four and ten shots in the direction of the line of the students.”

No word on what made him do it, but since the shots sounded very much like actual gunshots, the dozen people in his welding class, while unharmed, were understandably frightened.

Dillow was arrested Wednesday and charged with 12 felony counts of brandishing a firearm on school property. He could face up to five years in jail and a $2,500 fine for each count if he’s convicted.

[The Kingsport Times-News]