PICO RIVERA (CBSLA) — A high school student whose video of a teacher’s anti-military rant went viral has been invited to the White House by the president’s chief of staff, and now he and his family are raising funds to get there.
Victor Quinonez said he was left speechless after finding out White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called his father to personally invite Victor and his family to the White House and the Pentagon.
“It is really a big deal to me because not a lot of people say they’ve been to the White House or they met the president,” Quinonez told CBS2 News.
The senior at El Rancho High School secretly recorded history teacher Gregory Salcido while he was talking to his class, telling them that military recruiters were “not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the freakin’ lowest of our low.”
The video went viral, and members of the community, many of them veterans, immediately demanded that Salcido, who is also on the Pico Rivera City Council, be fired. He has been placed on leave.
As for Quinonez, he said the whole ordeal has been tough for him, too.
While grateful for the outpouring of support, he said he has received death threats.
However, his focus now is to take John Kelly up on his invitation. He and his family started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for travel and lodging in D.C., “thinking that, you know, they would pay our expenses, but, you know, no,” Quinonez said smiling. “We’ve gotta get ourselves out there.”
“I heard Washington, D.C. is not a very cheap place. Everything’s pretty pricey,” echoed Quinonez’s mother Karen Rodriguez.
Despite the work it will take to get to the White House, the invitation is a point of pride for Quinonez, whose own father is a Marine veteran.
Click hereto donate to Victor’s GoFundMe campaign.