Teacher calls military members 'the lowest of our low' in viral classroom rant
ABC NEWS -
Pico Rivera, Calif. — Secretly recorded videos shows a California teacher making derogatory comments about those serving in the military.
KTLA reports the now-viral videos were captured by Victor Quinonez, a senior at the school who hopes to join the Marines.
When El Rancho High School government teacher Gregory Salcido saw Quinonez wearing a Marines shirt, he launched into an anti-military rant.
"You better not freaking go," Salcido is heard saying in the video. "Don't wear that in here."
The teacher goes on to insult the intelligence of those serving in the military.
“Because we have a bunch of dumbs—s over there,” he said in the video. “Think about the people who you know who are over there. Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumbs—s. They’re not, like, high level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the lowest of our low.”
Salcido went so far as to say those in the military only serve because they have "no better options."
“It’s 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," he said.
A family friend posted the secretly recorded videos to Facebook, sparking an intense backlash. As of Tuesday morning, the post has been shared nearly 90,000 times.
Quinonez told KTLA he recorded his teacher because he was tired of hearing disparaging remarks about the military. He said he worries about how his siblings will be treated following the videos going viral.
Quinonez's father, Vincent, a 39-year-old Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, expressed outrage over the comments made by the teacher.
"It's not ... about freedom of speech. That's fine, he can say what he wants, but to say it to the youth is wrong. To bully my son is wrong, to discriminate against people who want to be in the military is wrong," said Vincent Quinonez.
Quinonez's mother said Salcido made her son stand in front of the class and "justify" why he wants to become a Marine. She doesn't feel he should be allowed to continue to teach.
"I don't think that somebody with that mentality – and not being able to refrain themselves from the things that they express about – should be ... in a school environment," Karen Rodriguez said.
Pentagon spokeswoman Amber Smith told the website Breitbart that she had seen the teacher’s remarks and that they were “very uninformed.”
Salcido told the Los Angeles Times that "because of the many vulgar and violent threats against my family I do not have any comment on the situation at this time."
The school board has said it is investigating.
Salcido is also a Pico Rivera city councilman. The council on Monday issued a statement, signed by the mayor and three other council members, saying they "unequivocally disagree" with Salcido's comments.