While teaching a U.S. History class at Pico Rivera High School in Southern California, Gregory Salcido ranted about the U.S. military, saying "They're dumbsh--s. They're not high-level bankers. They're not academic people. They're not intellectual people." He used these degrading terms after telling the class that people in the U.S. military are “the frickin’ lowest of our low” and claimed that those who are in the military overseas are failed students who had no choice but to serve.
The rant took place on January 19, 2018 and was taped by one of the students who took out his cellphone and started recording when Salcido began lecturing another student who was wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt. The angered teen's father and two uncles are veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps who collectively fought in Afghanistan, Desert Storm and Vietnam, he told the Orange County Register “It was so disrespectful to my dad and my uncles and all veterans and those still in the military”.
The teen wants to remain anonymous. He explained in a phone interview that he didn't intend for the video to become public, but that after seeing the video his mom shared it with friends who ultimately posted it on Facebook (shown below).
District Superintendent, Karling Aguilera-Fort confirmed Salcido's actions in the following statement given on Saturday, January 27, 2018, saying “We acknowledge it is his voice based on the research of the incident so far and knowing it came from one of our classrooms”. The matter is under investigation by the Superintendent's office and Salcido has been placed on administrative leave following the filing of a formal complaint from a parent of one of the students. “We cannot expose the disciplinary measures because it is a personnel matter, but there will be disciplinary measures taken,” Aguilera-Fort said.
Salcido is not a stranger to controversy, the Orange County Register reports. He was accused of making inappropriate comments about race to a summer school class in 2010 and was suspended for the rest of the summer session. There are also reports of disciplinary action relating to Salcido striking a student in 2012. Surprisingly Salcido also serves as an elected Pico Rivera city councilman and also the mayor.
Photo: public office photo from the Pico Rivera city government website.