School board fires Pico Rivera teacher over anti-military remarks

- The El Rancho Unified school board has voted to fire El Rancho High School teacher Gregory Salcido, who was heard in viral videos making comments critical of military members.

Salcido will remain on paid leave, pending any appeals to the State Office of Administrative Hearings, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

Salcido did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The board voted in closed session after two people, local resident John Albitre and Pico Rivera City Councilman Bob Archuleta, spoke about Salcido during public comment at a board meeting.

Both said they hoped the board would fire him. Albitre went a step further, saying he would try to figure out how to get Salcido stripped of his teaching credentials, the Tribune reported.

"A man like this -- we just don't need him,'' Albitre said, according to the newspaper. ``But I'd hate to see him keep his credentials and go somewhere else, and bully other kids and preach his way of life.''

The decision came almost two months after a video of Salcido first went viral, in which he can be heard chastising 17-year-old student Victor Quinonez for wearing a U.S. Marines sweatshirt and calling military members the "lowest of our low.'' He has been on leave since.

This wasn't Salcido's first controversy. He's been placed on administrative leave at least twice before, once in 2012 for hitting a student and once in 2010 for allegedly threatening a student, according to the Tribune.

Although Salcido' comments took place in the classroom, the blow-back from the episode has extended to his seat on Pico Rivera' City Council. His fellow council members passed a resolution calling for his resignation. After he announced he would not resign from that seat, his El Rancho High colleague Raul Elias filed a petition to recall him from City Council.

City Clerk Anna Jerome is in the process of verifying that petition. Once she does, Elias will have 120 days to collect at least 6,386 signatures -- 20 percent of Pico Rivera's registered voters to trigger a recall election.

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