A video in which a high school history teacher is seen slamming the armed forces as “the frickin’ lowest of the low” in a classroom rant to his students has gone viral sparking outrage in the community.
Fox & Friends reported on Sunday that Gregory Salcido, a Southern California teacher who teaches at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, California, referred to overseas soldiers as failed students who had no choice for their career and thus decided to enlist. Salcido is also a city councilman of Pico Rivera and once held the position of mayor.
The first video:
“Think about the people you know who are over there,” Salcido is heard saying. “Your freakin' stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They're dumb s - - - s. They're not high-level bankers. They're not academic people. They're not intellectual people."
“They’re the freakin’ lowest of our low.”
He also debated allowing recruiters from the military to visit schools. “We don’t allow pimps to come into the school,” he says.
The Orange County Register reported on Saturday that the viral video had already clocked about 1.5 million views until they learned about it.
The remarks by Salcido have triggered a backlash in a community that local leaders say has strong ties to the armed forces.
"This is not something that we are taking lightly," Pico Rivera school board President Aurora R Villon was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times. "I cannot discuss it because it is a personnel matter, other than we are conducting a full-blown investigation. We are moving very diligently."
Karling Aguilera-Fort, district superintendent, has promised that Salcido would be disciplined. He added that he hadn't been able to reach the teacher as he was out of town.
He said, “We have reached out to Mr Salcido but have not been able to talk to him because he is out of town. We cannot expose the disciplinary measures because it is a personnel matter, but there will be disciplinary measures taken.”
The second video:
Aguilera-Fort also said the district’s “first priority is to assure the community that what was said does not reflect the values of the El Rancho community and the El Rancho board.”
Salcido also said that the American military did not win the Vietnam war and denigrated them for continuing their fight in the middle east. He remarked that the US only won the World War II because “we had a freakin’ b**chin’ bomb,” referring to the atom bomb dropped in Hiroshima-Nagasaki.
“It’s a lie that our military is freakin’ b**chin’,” Salcido added.
The third video:
Pico Rivera Councilman Bob J Archuleta, who was appointed to West Point's Board of Visitors under President Obama, expressed dismay at the remarks, accorind to LA Times.
"I am appalled that someone who is educating our children in the classroom can demean our veterans, our men and women in uniform," said Archuleta, who previously served as a paratrooper and whose two sons graduated from West Point military academy.
After the news broke, Salcido posted a comment on the issue on his Facebook on Friday:
“The Salcido 3 just got out of an excellent musical, “The Band’s Arrival,” he said. “I turned my phone back on to unexpectedly see a storm. I don’t think it’s wise for me to make any specific comments, but I want my friends, family, and students to know we are fine and we respect the rights of free expression for all individuals.”
Gustavo Camacho, Mayor of the city of Pico Rivera, also said in a statement ignoring Salcido but asserting that the city was founded upon the “principles, values and sacrifices of our many veterans who when called upon served with great pride and honor.”
In a conversation with CBS2 Los Angeles, the student who shot the video on January 19 said that he took out his phone to record Salcido when he was lecturing a student for wearing a sweatshirt dedicated to US marines, in a government class in his school.
"I was very angry," the student said.
The said student could not record Salcido's face as he was surreptitiously shooting the cideo from underneath his desk. He also told the Register that Salcido called the military stupid and those who enlisted, did it out of force and not having an alternative.
“It was so disrespectful to my dad and my uncles and all veterans and those still in the military,” he said.
The student further added that his family included multiple veterans from the Marines. His uncles who were once in the forces did rotations in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Desert Storm.
The Register also reported that back in 2010, Salcido was slammed by a parent for allegedly making derogatory comments about race in his summer school classes. Denying all the accusations, Salcido faced suspension for the rest of the summer.
Three separate videos of Salcido’s comments are going viral. Some of what Salcido said includes:
So, if you join the military, it’s because you had no other option because you didn’t take care of business academically, because your parents didn’t love you enough to push and because you didn’t love yourself enough…And then your parents even encourage it sometimes because they want to get you off of their ass, because they want to get grandma and grandpa off of their ass because their grandson is a piece of s**t.
Think about the people you know who are over there. Your freakin’ stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumbsh**ts. They’re not high-level bankers. They’re not academic people. They’re not intellectual people. They’re the freakin’ lowest of our low.
At the end of the third video, Salcido is heard warning the student wearing the marines' hoodie to never wear it to his class again.
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