The teacher from California who called members of the U.S. military, “the lowest of our low” in a video captured by one of his students has been fired. As soon as the video hit social media, it triggered criticism from across the nation including the White House.
The El Rancho Unified School District held a Tuesday night vote to determine the fate of Gregory Salcido, a history teacher at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, southeast of Los Angeles.
The board’s decision, nearly two months after his comments went viral, was a unanimous: Salcido is out, said Board of Education President Aurora Villon.
Salcido, who also serves on the Pico Rivera City Council, has 30 days to appeal the school board’s decision, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Salcido’s expletive-filled rant appeared to connect the undetermined outcome of the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the intellectual capabilities of the troops fighting them.
“Because we have a bunch of dumbs— over there,” Salcido said in the video. “Think about the people who you know who are over there. Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. . . They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the lowest of our low.”
The military was losing to “dudes wearing freaking robes and chanclas [flip-flops] in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he told his students.
“The data is in, we don’t have a good military,” he continued. “We couldn’t beat the Vietnamese. They’re a bunch of people this freaking big throwing rice at us.”
He also criticized military recruiters in public schools. “It’s a lie that our military is freaking b—,” he said.
Salcido’s profane and disparaging comments sparked harsh condemnation: The school district was deluged by thousands of emails, many from veterans, active-duty troops and military family members, the Times reported.
“He’s disgraced us, disgraced this city, disgraced this nation,” said Councilman Bob Archuleta, a veteran whose two sons are on active duty, the Times said.
Pico Rivera, a predominantly Latino city of 63,000, was founded by veterans after World War II and maintains a strong connection to the military, its mayor, Gustavo Camacho, told The Washington Post.
“I and my fellow council members strongly disagree with Mr. Salcido’s point of view,” Camacho said in January. “Quite frankly, we denounce his statements.”
It will be interesting to see of Salcido runs for re-election to the Pico Rivera City Council and what kind of support he’s generates.
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