In a series of videos going viral over the weekend, High School teacher and Democrat Pico Rivera councilman Gregory Salcido told his Pico Rivera High School students this week that U.S. Marines are a “bunch of dumb s**ts” and the “lowest of the low.”
Salcido’s shocking rant was triggered after seeing a student wearing a U.S. Marines sweater. Salcido was elected to the Pico Rivera City Council in 1999 and served as the mayor in 2002. He serves as director for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Southeast Water Coalition, and the Los Angeles Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Three videos on social media of Pico Rivera Councilman Gregory Salcido, a teacher at El Rancho High School, making disparaging remarks about the military and berating a student for wearing a sweatshirt with a Marines logo have gone viral and created a backlash.El Rancho Unified School District officials confirmed Saturday. Jan. 27 that the person speaking is Salcido and that the incident took place on school grounds.
“We acknowledge it is his voice based on the research of the incident so far and knowing it came from one of our classrooms,” district Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort said in a phone interview.
A post on Facebook with the three videos was shared more than 23,500 times as of 10 a.m. Saturday. It had nearly 1.5 million views.The videos were first posted by Kimberlie Flauto, of Connecticut, who identified herself as a friend of one of the student’s parents. Flauto asked her followers to share and make the videos go viral.
The student, a 17-year-old senior who said he wished to remain anonymous because he doesn’t want any repercussions from friends who support Salcido, said he had no intention of the video being seen by anyone else and is surprised by all the attention.
“It wasn’t meant for anyone else, but my mom shared it with a few friends and now it’s this,” he said in a phone interview Saturday.
He said he made the recording on Jan. 19 during a U.S. history class taught by Salcido
Editor’s note: Some of the video embedded in the story contains profanity.
District officials have not identified the student who made the recording.
“That’s not our priority right now,” he said. “Our first priority is to assure the community that what was said does not reflect the values of the El Rancho community and the El Rancho board.”
Phone calls to Salcido and to Pico Rivera City Manager Rene Bobadilla were not returned.
Salcido did post a statement on Friday to his personal Facebook page, which said, “I don’t think it’s wise for me to make any comments, but I want my friends, family, and students to know we are fine and we respect the rights of free expression for all individuals.”
This is not the first time Salcido, 49, has come under scrutiny for behavior in the classroom.
In May 2012, he was put on paid administrative leave after the Sheriff’s Department received a complaint that he struck a student. In July 2010, a parent complained that Salcido had threatened his daughter, made inappropriate comments to his summer school class about race and insulted other students and parents, which Salcido denied.
He was suspended until the following fall’s first day of class.