California teacher slams military members as ‘lowest of our low’ in classroom rant
A teacher and city council member in Pico Rivera, California, is under investigation by the school board after he was recorded during an in-classroom rant calling military members stupid and untalented.
“We’ve got a bunch of dumbsh–s over there,” Councilman Gregory Salcido, a teacher at El Rancho High School, said in one recording. “Think about the people who you know who are over there — your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever — they’re dumbs–ts. They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people; they’re the freaking lowest of our low.”
The student who recorded Mr. Salcido’s rant last week said it was the Marine Corps shirt he was wearing that set the teacher off.
“And I told him it was a family tradition,” the student, who requested anonymity, told a local ABC affiliate. “My dad’s done it, my two uncles have done it. And I just wanted to continue that tradition because it’s also something I wanted to do as a kid. And he said, ‘So if it was a family tradition to beat women, would you continue it too?'”
“You better not freaking go,” Mr. Salcido told the student in the recording. “Don’t wear that in here.”
Mr. Salcido, who was elected to the Pico Rivera City Council in 1999 and served as mayor in 2002, 2010 and 2015, has yet to apologize for his behavior.
“Because of the many vulgar and violent threats against my family I do not have any comment on the situation at this time,” he told The Los Angeles Times.
He briefly addressed the controversy on Facebook, writing, “The Salcido 3 just got out of an excellent musical, ‘The Band’s Arrival’. 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.”
Pico Rivera school board President Aurora R. Villon said she was “dumbfounded” by Mr. Salcido’s comments.
“This is not something that we are taking lightly,” she told The 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.”
This isn’t Mr. Salcido’s first controversy at El Rancho High. In 2012, he was placed on administrative leave after admitting to slapping a student, the Los Angeles Daily News reported at the time. In 2010, he was reportedly suspended after a parent complained that he threatened his daughter and made inappropriate comments to his summer school class about race. In both instances, Mr. Salcido claimed that the allegations were “exaggerated.”
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