A California high school student who captured video footage of his teacher disparaging the U.S. military has received an invitation to the White House.
Late last month, Victor Quinonez — who attends El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera — secretly recorded his teacher calling military personnel “the lowest of the low.”
“Think about the people who you know who are over there. Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumbs—s,” Gregory Salcido told his class in an effort to explain to them why they should not join the military. “They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the lowest of our low.”
Videos of Salcido’s remarks were eventually posted to Facebook, where they went viral, sparking calls for Salcido, who is also a city councilman, to be fired from the school.
One such angry viewer was White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general.
“Well, I think the guy ought to go to hell. I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyles that we fought for,” Kelly said of Salcido in an interview with Fox News radio, according to ABC News.
It didn’t take long for Kelly to call Quinonez’s father, who also served in the Marines, and invite the entire family to visit the White House and the Pentagon.
Victor, meanwhile, said he’s thrilled at the opportunity to see the White House and perhaps even meet the president.
“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,” he told KCBS.
Now, he is determined to raise the money for travel and lodging in Washington, D.C. At first, Victor though the government would pay for the trip, but he soon realized that wouldn’t be the case.
“We’ve got to get ourselves out there,” he said.
“I heard Washington, D.C. is not a very cheap place. Everything’s pretty pricey,” said Victor’s mother, Karen Rodriguez.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the trip.
Kelly was far from the only one to express anger over Salcido’s anti-military rant.
At an El Rancho School Board meeting earlier this month, parents, students and veterans referred to the teacher as a “bully” and demanded that he be removed from the classroom.
“I know you have due process. Do your thing and then shake his a– out of here,” said one veteran, Dewey Fisher.
“To allow him back into the classroom would be to endorse his comments,” said Robert Mejia, another veteran.
Salcido has been placed on administrative leave, and he has also been removed from his city council-related assignments, Fox News reported.
For his part, Victor Quinonez also thinks Salcido needs to go.
“Salcido should be fired and to have his credentials taken away because I don’t believe students should be hurt anymore, or be scared to go inside his classroom,” he said, according to KABC.
But despite the outpouring of support the young student has received, he claims he has also gotten death threats.
“I can’t walk outside anymore,” Quinonez said at the recent school board meeting. “I always have to be around somebody who is watching me. I’m glad for what I did, but there are always consequences.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.