Gregory Salcido, the California high school teacher that drew national headlines for calling U.S. military members “dumb sh*ts” and the “lowest of the low,” was terminated from his teaching position via unanimous school board decision in March. Now, the details of the board’s investigation into his behavior in the classroom have revealed a history of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior that extend well beyond his controversial views on the military.
“Your freakin’ stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumb***ts. They’re not high-level thinkers. They’re not academic people. They’re not intellectual people … They’re the freaking lowest of our low.” Salcido said in an anti-military rant the was prompted by one of his students wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt to class. He went on to say that people choose to serve in the military because “you didn’t take care of business academically, because your parents didn’t love you enough to push you and then you didn’t love yourself enough to push yourself.”
One of the students secretly recorded the tirade and uploaded the footage online, drawing a negative reaction from service members and veterans all over the country. Even White House Chief of Staff, retired Marine General John Kelly chimed in.
“Well, I think the guy ought to go to hell,” Kelly said at the time. “I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyles that we fought for.”
Now, the investigation compiled by Steve Hummel, owner of Paradox Technology, which specializes in “expert investigation and forensic services for attorneys,” according to their website, has been released to the public, and it indicates a history of unprofessional and unethical behavior.
Hummel’s investigation included analysis of Salcido’s work computer, interviews with students and teachers, and discussions with Salcido himself, culminating in a laundry list of violations of school policy and, one could argue, the ethical standards expected of educators. Hummel found pornographic images on Salcido’s classroom computer (that had since been deleted), learned that he told students that it “shouldn’t be illegal” to download child pornography, used racial slurs and inappropriate language around students, and reportedly was caught lying multiple times throughout the course of the investigation.
You didn’t take them, you’re not in them, but you downloaded them, and you’re arrested for that?” Salcido said about child pornography in a recording that was included in the report. “I don’t think you should (be). I think you’re a freakin’ pig, but I don’t think you should get arrested.”
Other issues with the city councilman/teacher’s behavior in the report included:
- Having an image of a young boy pulling on a sumo wrestler’s “thong like garment” on his classroom computer, which had been deleted.
- Telling students they had the right to kill themselves;
- Telling students he would kill everyone in the classroom if it were required to protect his family;
- Regularly insulting students, including cursing at them;
- Using banned forms of corporal punishment in the classroom by making students do push-ups or squats;
- Refusing to follow the district’s discipline policies;
- Leaving campus during the school day, against his contractual requirements
When “insulting students,” Salcido reportedly singled out “White, Asian, Pro military, Christian or gay” students, the investigator noted in the report, calling one white student a Nazi, one female student a “bitch,” and aggressively questioning others about their religious beliefs. Interviews with school counselors showed that a number of students with military aspirations had asked to be transferred out of his classes, prompting at least one counselor to simply not place students in Salcido’s class if she knew they were pro-military.
A girl in a short skirt was berated in front of the class to do a squat until she left in tears. He was previously warned by administration in writing to stop this practice as it constitutes corporal punishment,” according to the report.
This long list of policy violations bookends a career that has been littered with formal warnings, suspensions, and at least two previous cases where the teacher was placed on administrative leave for threatening, or even hitting students.
Hummel’s report to the school board ultimately concluded that, “History shows Mr. Salcido will not stop his unacceptable behavior no matter what discipline the district uses on him. Mr. Salcido places his students in physical and emotional danger with his behavior. Removing Mr. Salcido seems to be the only way to protect the students.”
Salcido has claimed the blow back following his recorded comments about the military was “probably the most exaggerated situation I’ve ever seen,” though the details of the report seem to indicate otherwise. Salcido has refused to comment on any specifics however.
“My pending appeal to the state serves as a clear indication of my disagreement with the motivation, method and contents of the district’s investigation.” Salcido said.
You can read a redacted copy of the investigation report here.
Feature image courtesy of the Associated Press