Back in January, a high school teacher making disparaging remarks about the U.S. Military was recorded by one of his students. At the time, he was removed from the classroom and his duties were given to a substitute. Now, after the Board of Education and the school district reached a unanimous decision, Gregory Salcido has been officially fired.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 21, 2018
“His comments do not reflect what we stand for, who we are,” Board of Education President Aurora Villon said. “The classroom should never be a place where students feel that they are picked at, bullied, intimidated.”
Salcido had been placed on administrative leave. He’s also been relieved of all assignments as a city councilman.
In February, Salcido met with the city council and tried to qualify his statements. “I don’t think it’s all a revelation to anybody that those who aren’t stellar students usually find the military a better option. … That’s not a criticism of anybody. Anything I said had nothing to do with their moral character,” he said.
“One thing we are telling people for sure is that the commitment of the board and the superintendent and the staff is to really get to the bottom of this for the community,” School Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort told reporters.
That was more than he offered at the time. After the comments went viral, the former teacher refused comment. “Based on the many hateful, vulgar, and violent threats being made against me and my family, my priority is the emotional and physical health of my wife and son,” he explained.
The news is welcomed by those who showed up at the school, after the comments, to protest what they saw as an abuse of power.
“Think about the people who you know who are over there,” Salcido said on the video. “Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumbs‑‑‑s. They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the lowest of our low.”
Those comments haven’t endeared Salcido to many current military members or veterans, and the condemnation of his remarks have reached all the way to the Pentagon, who called Salcido’s point of view “very uninformed.”
The Pico Rivera City Council and Mayor Gustavo Camacho were quick to denounce the statements.
“We, the elected governing body of the City of Pico Rivera, unequivocally disagree and condemn the recent comments made by Councilmember Salcido regarding those individuals who have served or are currently serving in our nation’s military,” the statement read.
“The City Council and residents of Pico Rivera are steadfast in the recognition that the contributions by those who have served or are currently serving our country via military service are respected and we are grateful for their service.”
Salcido has been a public servant for years. He was mayor in 2002, 2010 and 2015.
“The 17-year-old student who made the secret recordings told Fox News opinion writer Todd Starnes Monday that he did so out of anger,” Fox writes.
“He has a history of being anti-military,” Victor Quinonez, the student, told Fox. “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but at the same time they shouldn’t be disrespecting the veterans who have fought for our rights, who give up their lives and do stuff that other people are not willing to do.”
“He called me out in front of the whole class,” Quinonez said. “He wanted to ask why I wanted to join the military.”
“I told him it’s a family tradition; it’s something I’ve been wanting to do as a kid. And he ended up saying, ‘So if it was a family tradition to beat women, would you continue it?’”
“My dad – he’s a veteran – he went to Afghanistan,” Quinonez said. “I have an uncle who was in Desert Storm, another uncle that was in the Vietnam War.”
The recordings, made in secret, capture the teacher speaking, but he does not appear on the video.