The Southern California teacher facing a firestorm after he was recorded by a student bashing the military in a profane classroom rant has been placed on administrative leave and removed from all assignments he'd be given as a city councilman.
Gregory Salcido, the El Rancho High School teacher and elected Pico Rivera city councilman, will not be able to enter the classroom while school officials conduct an investigation into the recording, the Whittier Daily News reported late Monday.
“One thing we are telling people for sure is that the commitment of the board and the superintendent and the staff is to really get to the bottom of this for the community,” School Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort told the paper.
Another teacher has taken over his history and government classes for the foreseeable future, he said.
Salcido, 49, told the paper he is not granting interviews at this time.
“Based on the many hateful, vulgar, and violent threats being made against me and my family, my priority is the emotional and physical health of my wife and son,” he said in the text, the paper reported.
In the recordings, Salcido is heard asking students in his government class why they would want to serve in the military overseas.
“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.”
A Pentagon spokesman on Monday condemned Salcido’s remarks as “very uninformed.”
His anti-military rant has also resulted in his removal from all Pico Rivera City Council committee assignments, CBS2 Los Angeles reported.
The council, including Mayor Gustavo Camacho, issued a statement late Monday criticizing Salcido over his remarks.
“We, the elected governing body of the City of Pico Rivera, unequivocally disagree and condemn the recent comments made by Councilmember Salcido regarding those individuals who have served or are currently serving in our nation’s military,” the statement said.
"The City Council and residents of Pico Rivera are steadfast in the recognition that the contributions by those who have served or are currently serving our country via military service are respected and we are grateful for their service.”
A previous statement from Camacho did not comment on Salcido's remarks while paying tribute to the contributions of those in the military to Pico Rivera.
Salcido became a city council member in 1999. He was also mayor in 2002, 2010 and 2015.
The 17-year-old student who made the secret recordings told Fox News opinion writer Todd Starnes Monday that he did so out of anger.
“He has a history of being anti-military,” the student said, of Salcido. “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but at the same time they shouldn’t be disrespecting the veterans who have fought for our rights, who give up their lives and do stuff that other people are not willing to do.”
The student, who says he wants to be a Marine, later identified himself as Victor Quinonez to Los Angeles station KTLA-TV.
Quinonez says he recorded Salcido Thursday and gave the videos to his mother, who shared them with a friend. The friend then posted them on Facebook.
The student made three short recordings. Salcido is heard but not seen.
The recordings had been viewed nearly 6.4 million times as of Monday evening, the Whittier Daily News reported.