PICO RIVERA (CBS) — A Pico Rivera high school teacher could be fighting for his job on Thursday after admitting that he “smacked” a student during class.

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KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports Gregory Salcido said he was only trying to control a student whom he claims is disruptive on a daily basis.

Salcido, a history teacher at El Rancho High School who also serves as a city councilman, said the 15-year-old student was causing a distraction in class when he put his head down on his desk.

“When I smacked him on the back of his head and said, ‘Pick up your head and pay attention’, he didn’t say, ‘Ouch’,” Salcido said.

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He called the student’s disruption a “normal occurrence every day” and said he remains confident other students would support that description.

Shannon Amparan, the student’s mother, admits her son can be difficult, but said she believes Salcido’s actions were out of line.

“I am not denying it’s hard to keep my kid on track, and yes, he has been suspended,” said Amparan. “I do not appreciate somebody who’s an educator to smack my child.”

Salcido was elected to the Pico Rivera City Council in 1999, and even twice served as the city’s mayor in 2002 and 2010.

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On his profile page of the city’s website, Salcido “credits his students for being a constant reminder that keeping a positive and optimistic disposition is necessary for a productive future”.