You may recall that I wrote a piece about the teacher whose rant about the military went viral on social and other media. His name is Gregory Salcido. Mr. Salcido was released from his position as teacher at the El Rancho Unified School District. A news report from Tuesday confirms that the board of education has fired Mr. Salcido.
The board voted unanimously to fire Salcido because of the January 26th, 2018 incident. This is a big deal because I suspect that Mr. Salcido expected to keep his position based on what he called his first amendment rights to speak on any issue. It’s also a big deal because the board must weigh the probability of litigation against the district and whether a legal claim by Salcido would be meritorious or valid which could potentially cost the district a lot of money. In this case, the board obviously decided that the firing Salcido was worth the risk and/or cost.
Although Gregory Salcido did sort of apologize, he also really doubled down on his opinion, albeit in much softer language by saying that he still believes that students with lower academic standing typically end up in the military.
Let’s not forget why this whole scenario even erupted. He was speaking to a student of his who was wearing a Marine t-shirt or sweatshirt in his classroom. Why in the world would he even have that type of conversation in the first place with his student? Teachers are supposed to uplift and mentor students, not verbally attack them for their potential life choice of joining the military. I also can’t help but wonder how many other times he went off on students where the incident was not caught on video? It seemed like he was comfortable talking the way he was in the video. As teachers, our words and demeanor matter.
I applaud the El Rancho Unified Board of Education for taking the appropriate action to take this individual out of the classroom. My understanding is that Salcido is also being targeted for recall of his elected position on the City Council (he cannot be fired from an elected position, he must be recalled by the voters) after adamantly refusing to step down despite the rallying cry of the community to do so. In the meantime, we will wait to see if Salcido with the appeal the decision of the board and fight to save his job. Wait for it…
This piece first ran here at La Comadre.
Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in California.