A high school teacher recorded by one of his students as he made disparaging remarks about the character of members of the United States’ military had to answer for his actions today. It may well have proven to be a teachable moment for the man who shared his opinions with his public school classroom.
“Gregory Salcido, the El Rancho High School teacher and elected Pico Rivera city councilman,” Fox writes, “will not be able to enter the classroom while school officials conduct an investigation into the recording, the Whittier Daily News reported late Monday.”
Salcido has been placed on administrative leave. He’s also been relieved of all assignments as a city councilman.
“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.
Salcido’s classes have been taken over by another teacher, while small protests outside the school continue.
The rant has drawn national attention. Salcido, for his part, is not talking. “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.
“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 made a statement Monday.
“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. It is unclear if the teacher will fight his dismissal, or if Quinonez will face any disciplinary action for making the recordings.