Outrage sparks over Pico Rivera councilman's anti-veteran rant

PICO RIVERA, Calif. (KABC) -- El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera finds itself in the throes of a social media crisis after a student secretly recorded a teacher disparaging U.S. veterans in class.

The teacher, Gregory Salcido, is also a Pico Rivera City Councilmember.

You can't see him in the cellphone video, but his voice can be heard making fun of members of the military.

"Think about the people who you know who are over there, your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever," Salcido is heard telling his class. "They're dumb*****. They're not like high-level thinkers. They're not academic people. They're not intellectual people. They're the freaking lowest of our low."

The El Rancho Unified School Board said Salcido is now under a board investigation.

"This incident does not define who we are," said Aurora Villon, the school board president. "We value the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much so that we can provide this education to our children."

Villon added the investigation is still in its early stages and board members are waiting to hear Salcido's side of the story.

Eyewitness News reached out to Salcido several times, but our messages have not been returned. He did post a brief statement on Facebook, reading in part:

"I don't think it's wise for me to make any specifics 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."

But Salcido isn't finding any support from his fellow council members.

"I and my fellow councilmembers strongly disagree with Mr. Salcido's comments," said Pico Rivera Mayor Gustavo Camacho. "We denounce his statements."

Camacho said he's removed Salcido from all council committees.

But many parents at the school are furious.

James Tapia said his late son served in the military after graduating from El Rancho High School. He wants Salcido to step down.

"He's saying bad things about our men and women who are over there dying to this day and they come home messed up," Tapia said. "And I don't appreciate it."
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