A California school district has put teacher Gregory Salcido on administrative leave after a video went viral in which he can be heard calling U.S. troops the “lowest of the low” and a “bunch of dumb shits,” according to a new report.
Salcido, who is also a city councilman in Pico Rivera, was also removed from the council’s committees after local officials condemned the comments, which were made to a group of high school students, a CBS News affiliate also reported.
The moves come amid a public firestorm over Salcido’s anti-military rant that prompted the Pentagon to respond on Monday. Phones have been ringing off the hook at the Pico Rivera high school and city hall with demands for him to resign, according to the Whittier Daily News, which first reported the administrative leave decision.
The Pentagon’s top outreach official yesterday called the comments “very uninformed” and said it was an example of why the military needs to better educate the public about its role.
The unidentified student who recorded Salcido told Fox News radio that the teacher had called him out in front of the class for wanting to join the military.
“I told him it’s a family tradition; it’s something I’ve been wanting to do as a kid,” the student told the radio show. “And he ended up saying, ‘So if it was a family tradition to beat women, would you continue it?’”
The student then sat down and started recording with his cell phone to show his parents.
But supporters, who appeared to be loyal students, popped up on Twitter using the hashtag #JusticeForSauce and called for Salcido to be reinstated.
In the video posted on YouTube, Salcido can be heard repeatedly warning his students not to join the military and criticizing the quality of its troops.
“We all have night-vision goggles, all that kind of stuff, and we can’t freakin’ control these dudes wearing freakin’ robes and chanclas [flip-flops] because we have a bunch of dumb shits over there,” Salcido said. “Think about the people you know who are over there, your freakin’ stupid uncle Louie, or whatever, they’re dumb shits. They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the freakin’ lowest of the low.”
He also told his high school students that signing up to serve is similar to prostitution.
“I don’t understand why we let the freakin’ military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don’t have pimps come into school. Anyone interested in being a ho [whore]? And they’re going to freakin’ lie to you,” Salcido said.
At one point, he addresses a student who is wearing a Marine Corps shirt.
“Why are you wearing that Marines shirt? I thought you were going to college,” he asked the student.
The student tells him, “I am, I just had the shirt.” But Salcido warns him not to wear it to school.
“Why would you wear something that you can’t freakin’ support? Don’t ever wear that again, don’t ever wear it here,” Salcido said.