A California high school teacher is facing severe criticism after a video posted to social media recorded him making offensive comments toward a student wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt.
Officials at the school confirmed the voice in the video is of Gregory Salcido, a teacher at El Rancho High School out of Pico Rivera, California, The Orange County Register reported on Saturday.
“Don’t you ever freaking bring the freaking military into this classroom,” Salcido can be heard saying in the video. “I don’t understand why we let the freaking military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don’t have pimps come into school.”
The teacher also questions the motives students have for joining the service, claiming they’ve merely wasted 13 years of education and that they “have no other options.”
“The statements made by this teacher do not reflect the values and beliefs of the El Rancho Unified School District,” Aurora R. Villon, a member of the school board, told Marine Corps Times.
“We are a community founded by military men and women and we have the utmost respect for the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to make our country great,” she said.
One of the elementary schools in the district was named after a Marine and Medal of Honor recipient Eugene Obregon, a graduate from the school, Villon said.
Obregon was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest medal during the Korean War after sacrificing his own life to save a fellow comrade.
“The Board of Education is working diligently and responsibly to resolve this situation,” Villon said.
Karen Rodrigues, the mother of the young man who recorded the incident, says her son, Alberto Solis, a current senior at the school, was singled out by the teacher to stand up in front of the class to explain why he wanted to join the Marines, which led her son to record the encounter.
Karen says her son wants to join the Corps to follow in the footsteps of his father, an Afghanistan veteran.
“And I told him it was a family tradition,” the student told a local TV station. “My dad’s done it, my two uncles have done it. And I just wanted to continue that tradition because it’s also something I wanted to do as a kid. And he said: ‘So if it was a family tradition to beat women, would you continue it too?’”
As of now, there has been no backlash from the school toward the family since the recording went viral. However, Alberto Solis, who goes by the name of Victor, was outed by fellow classmates on social media for having recorded the incident with Salcido.
His mother says students at the school have been posting threatening messages towards her son on Twitter and social media. The mother pointed to several of the posts, here, here and here.
Marine Corps Times reached out to Salcido for comment and has yet to receive a response.