Gregory Salcido, the California teacher whose anti-military remarks were caught on a video that went viral two months ago, has been fired from his position, The L.A. Times is reporting.
Back in January, as the Times reported at the time, Salcido was caught by students going on what has been described as an anti-military rant. Seemingly inspired by seeing a student wearing a Marines t-shirt, Salcido began telling his students what he thought about the intelligence of members of the armed forces.
“We’ve got a bunch of dumb [expletive] over there,. Think about the people who you know who are over there – your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever – they’re dumb [expletive]. 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.”
You can watch video of the rant here. It will not be embedded in this post because it contains strong language.
The backlash was intense and immediate. Pico Rivera, the town in southeastern Los Angeles in which Salcido taught, has “strong military ties,” says the Times, and several kids, often minority kids lacking other opportunities, seek out careers in the military.
He has been on unpaid leave since the video went viral, according to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Salcido says that he began receiving death threats, with some commenters threatening to rape and kill his wife, and leave his son an orphan. Pico Rivera City Council meetings, where Salcido was a council member, saw their attendance skyrocket, as protesters descended on the town to demand his resignation.
The firing of Gregory Salcido is completely justified. Calling the military, the lowest of low, is totally unacceptable. What kind of person,doesn’t recognize, the great sacrifice that people make when they serve our country? #WednesdayWisdom #KAG https://t.co/NYW7zfFFUF
— Christy Pheagin (@FlakeyBrunette) March 21, 2018
In the months since his comments went viral, Salcido has more-or-less doubled down. For example, he reiterated his assertion that the military attracts people of low intelligence.
“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.”
And though he’s apologized, he also seemingly fails to realize the gravity of his situation.
“This is probably the most exaggerated situation I’ve ever seen.”
On Tuesday night, the El Rancho Unified School District voted unanimously to fire Salcido. He has 30 days to appeal.
Board of Education President Aurora Villon welcomed the firing.
“The classroom should never be a place where students feel that they are picked at, bullied, intimidated.”
Salcido’s former student, Jeovany Zavala, however, came to the former teacher’s defense.
“You taught me that I could be the best that I could be in school and in life without having to risk my life or to pursue what I thought was my only option. You taught me more than that and I’d like to thank you. I know I might stand alone in that decision tonight.”
As of this writing, it is not clear if Salcido will retain his post on the Pico Rivera City Council.