LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Officials from a Southern California city are roundly condemning disparaging comments made about members of the U.S. military by a local teacher.

Audio first emerged over the weekend of history teacher and Pico Rivera Council Member Gregory Salcido telling students U.S. servicemembers serving overseas are “not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the freakin’ lowest of our low.”

In a statement released Monday, city officials said they “unequivocally disagree and condemn” Salcido’s comments, adding, “The City Council and residents of Pico Riviera 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.”

According to CBS2’s Randy Paige, Salcido has since been removed from all committees on the Pico Rivera City Council over the remarks and that other fellow council members are “unanimous in their condemnation” of his remarks.

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

Officials from the El Rancho Unified School District issued a statement on Friday saying an investigation was underway into the remarks.

Salcido did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some students, however, are supporting Salcido on social media using the hashtag “JusticeForSauce”.

An Instagram account belonging to Salcido also appeared to have been deleted.

At an El Rancho Unified School District meeting Tuesday night, however, not many people felt that way.

A crowd packed with veterans interrupted the speaker during the meeting, chastising the absent Salcido for his inflammatory remarks.

On the agenda, though, was a discussion of whether or not to hire legal representation. Whether it was needed for this matter was not discussed.

“You oughta make it a topic, and you should allow us to speak,” one woman told the board.

Outside the meeting, several people voiced their concerns.

“I have a education. I would like to know, does he, did he ever have a top-secret clearance in the military? I did,” said Karen Rand, a Marine Corps veteran.

People were similarly upset at the Pico Rivera American Legion.

“His comments are based on ignorance,” said Navy veteran Scott Duncan. “That’s not knowing the reality of serving the country.”

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

He was at the center of another controversy in 2012 after he acknowledged he smacked a student on the back of his head for being disruptive in class.

“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 at the time.

KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii reports that a spokesperson from the Pentagon chimed in on the issue Monday. The spokesperson said Salcido’s statements are uninformed and the Pentagon would like to give him an accurate image of those who serve and why.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it’s investigating criminal threats surrounding the incident, and was providing extra deputies in and around the school.

Comments (43)
  1. His racist comments also need to be noted. He commented how our military couldn’t even win in Vietnam. Paraphrasing, he said Vietnamese are like this big, what could they do? throw rice at them?

  2. Salcido.. is a high level thinker? A High School history teacher? I am a Gulf War Combat Veteran with a Doctorate … Lowest of The Low/? Losers? Pimps??

  3. So how does he feel about those “lowest of the low” teenagers who joined the Union army to fight for the freedom of slaves?? This guy is clueless and should not be teaching history! I suppose he approves of his academically inclined students who get a useless college degrees and end up working as a barista and thousands of dollars in debt. So, who is the real idiot??

  4. He also said he think its okay for people to own kiddie porn. SMH I hope they check his computer

  5. Good riddance to bad rubbish! POS just proves money and education can’t buy you class. MORON!!!

  6. Welcome to the Trump era of politics. Trump bashing women, minorities and veterans is OK. Trump bashing African countries is OK. Trump complementing Neo-Nazis is OK. Solcedo is just another stupid politician making crude marks in the Trump era.

    1. Jim Cyr says:

      BIG difference between calling #*^+hole countries what they are and attacking American service members. To clowns like you, they’re the same

      1. I guess you don’t remember Trump verbally attacking a gold star family – that’s ok with you !

  7. I really think they should look on his computers and into his rant on how people should not be arrested for kiddie porn, for having it, or for downloading it. That it should not be illegal because you are doing nothing wrong!! SICKO

  8. Not once did the council say what was said was factually wrong.Just that he should not have said it. Free speech is not needed to protect kind words. It is needed to protect those who disagree or are ignorant. After his face runs into a few fists, he will have a new understanding.

    1. Because physical assault is always the correct answer to people exercising their Constitutional rights? Just because you don’t agree with him doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to assault him. And Trump has said far worse against veterans and others, but you rally and cheer when he does it. Hypocrite much?

  9. What is this guys status? Is he a dreamer?