Remember high school history teacher Gregory Salcido? He was caught on video disparaging the military back in January and was put on administrative leave. Yesterday the El Rancho Unified School District fired Salcido. From the LA Times:
The El Rancho Unified School District voted unanimously Tuesday evening to fire Gregory Salcido, who taught history at his alma mater El Rancho High School, said Board of Education President Aurora Villon. He has 30 days to appeal the decision.
Villon said students should feel respected on campus, and in this case, she felt “that was not happening.”
“The classroom should never be a place where students feel that they are picked at, bullied, intimidated,” she said.
Salcido didn’t get up in front of the class and go on an anti-military rant one day as part of a lesson plan. This was a personal attack aimed at one particular student. The incident began when 17-year-old Victor Quiñonez wore a “Marines” sweatshirt to Salcido’s class. He was wearing the sweatshirt because his father is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan and because he had considered following in his father’s footsteps and joining the Marines one day. But when he got up to turn in his homework, Salcido noticed the sweatshirt and then tore into the military.
“We’ve got a bunch of dumb sh**s over there,” Salcido said. He continued, “Think about the people who you know who are over there —your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever —they’re dumbsh**s. 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.”
Salcido then warned, “You better not freaking go” and added, “Don’t wear that in here.” He also said people who joined the military did so because their parents didn’t love them enough to push them academically. It’s not hard to see how Victor Quiñonez would take this as a very personal attack on his father.
A friend of the family posted the audio online and it quickly went viral. The school began receiving complaints from veterans. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was asked about the comments during a radio show and said: “I think the guy ought to go to hell.” He added, “I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyle that we have fought for.”
Salcido, who is also a Pico Rivera City Councilman, faced the music over his comments last month. After hearing from dozens of outraged veterans and local residents, he refused to resign and essentially doubled down.
“My goal as it relates to my students is to get them to do everything to get through college,” he said. “It’s not just the military. I wouldn’t want them to work at a fast-food restaurant, either.
He added: “I’m talking about their academic standing. I don’t think it’s at all a revelation to anybody that those who aren’t stellar students usually find the military a better option. That’s as plain as that it’s Tuesday night.”
I’ll wrap this up with two videos. First, here’s Salcido doubling down at his city council job.
Lastly, here’s the clip of his initial rant. This is what a high-level thinker sounds like apparently.