How many 'teachers' like this are there?

+2 votes
Mar 28 in Education ✍ by TheOtherTink (21,222 points)
edited Mar 28 by TheOtherTink

This California teacher (since terminated, pending appeal) said, in his classroom, that the members of our Military are "the freaking lowest of our low."

4 Answers

Rooster Mar 28

Good question! His parents were probably hippies during the Vietnam war and never let it go. Geez! Teach these kids the facts, not your own personal views!

TheOtherTink Rooster Mar 28

And this low-life is also a member of the local town council, although the Mayor has asked him to resign.

Of course none of this would have happened if Salcido's classroom remarks hadn't been recorded and gone viral. Then the school and town authorities all scrambled to cover their butts.

Virginia Mar 30

Dear Tink,

I don't like his rant, but are there free speech concerns here? 

I would tend to NOT fire him just because of this alone, but keep a watch on him and see what kind of teacher he is overall. Holding him liable because of the cell phone recording seems a bit like "Big Brother."

Hi Virginia,

I don't think a teacher has absolute freedom of speech to express highly charged political opinions and to use expletives in a classroom setting, as a matter of terms of employment.  Did you ever have a teacher like that?  I didn't.

Salcido claimed he was just trying to talk a student out of joining the military.  If that was true (and I don't believe that was all there was to it), he should have spoken to the student in private rather than subject his whole captive classroom audience to his political tirade.

Here is another news report:

Virginia Virginia Mar 31

Hi Tink, yes I agree with basically all you are caution is the student recording his words unbeknownst, and then holding him accountable. Reminds me of Korean Dictator Kim and their "people's committees," or whatever they are called...Nazis informing on their neighbors and such.

 We all have "senior moments," when we say things in the passion of the moment that don't reflect our deeper sentiments. If I were principal, I would reprimand the student for publishing the teacher; the student should bring his video to school authorities. And then I would discuss with the teacher privately, and keep a watch on the teacher's further performance. 

Just saying...

* * *

As far as his words themselves, I don't think a teacher should be talking to students like that even in private. Not only the military put-down, but I don't think an instructor should EVER use coarse language with students, including the "freaking." 

And you notice the newsclip mention of some people polarizing this into Democrat v. Republican? Oh, really! :blink:

Hi Virginia,

I agree that people can have senior moments, but I doubt that was the case in this instance... I think it very much represented not only Salcido's views, but also his vulgarly expressed low esteem for the military, the vulgarity being no small part of it.

Here is a city council meeting that is quite revealing of Salcido's opinions (although he was careful to avoid foul language on this occasion, but not his overweening arrogance).

Virginia Virginia Apr 1

ty Tink, I watched the whole is helpful. Here are some thoughts, for you comments if you are inclined?

First of all, if Salcido were teaching my child I would pull the kid and homeschool him/her. This clip began with the mayor of West Covina, "When you say something in public, you not only represent yourself you represent your city."  And I want that teachers be held to a parallel standard. 

That said, I still feel Salcido has not gotten due process.

I think Salcido says that he apologized earlier, and it was ignored? Then death threats came in by phone, even to staff...also threats to r@pe his wife. Then the mayor saying that Salcido was responsible for the death threats to staff? imo NO, Salcido was correct there, those threats were psychosis of the callers. Salcido mentioned all these proceedings..."nothing to do with healing, just further hurt." I tend to agree.

Pledge of Allegiance, I may post a Q on that one, it's a tender (and important) free speech topic. 

* * *

My own impromptu diagnosis? I think Salcido has what a friend used to call "testosterone poisoning;" too much aggression, with intelligence but not enough wisdom. Something that can happen with the male of our species until they get more insight and experience of life! But as far as this instance, I would be concerned he is getting scapegoated...and kinda smacks of a lynch mob.

Lol, yes, Virginia, he may indeed have testosterone poisoning, but even more, he suffers from academic hubris (which is laughable because he's only a public high-school history teacher, not some distinguished professor at an Ivy League university).

I would agree with you that if the incident in question had been unique, perhaps it would have been something of a lynch mob going on here. But Salcido seems to have a long and well-known history of abusing and berating students in his classroom, which he did not deny, when a parent and a former student confronted him at a City Council meeting.  See the clip, starting at 3:08.  He is alleged, among other things, to have slapped a kid on the head, and if students came in late, he allegedly made them dance or do pushups or jumping jacks.

As for his "apology", it was of the sort of conditional apology that implies, 'if anyone was so ignorant as to misunderstand what I meant and was offended, I apologize.'  Even worse, at 6:33, Salcido says "...if any words attributed to me have offended anybody..."  Attributed...? Now he's not even admitting he said them!

As for due process, I think he did get due process from the school board. They investigated for over a month before firing him (presumably knowing his past history as well), and he has 30 days to appeal.

And as for the City Council's action, a deliberative body like that can censure a member whenever it likes and for any reason.  Something similar (on a much larger scale) happened to Sen. Joseph McCarthy and to Rep. Adam Clayton Powell.

Virginia Virginia Apr 1

Well O'Tink, as usual you have done your own homework; yes, what you relate does indeed sound like due process DID happen. I think then my remaining objections would have to do with the witch-hunt, lynch-mob mentality that seems to be going on here. The death threats one should have to endure that. 

He needs to be able to salvage some self-respect and learn from this and move forward with his life, and I don't think people are giving him space to do that. btw, I did not listen to the whole video here, just the first few moments and then went to 6:33. And, what I think I heard on the other video was that Salcido indicated some of the videos had been doctored, so it sounded like he was saying things he did not? If I were connected to him I would check to see if that might be true...

He has been going through a horrific time, he is concerned for the safety of his wife and son, threats to make his son an orphan. On this video, the news commentator calls Salcido stupid, idiotic, well I think Salcido is unusually intelligent. (Note: I recall you and I agree that intelligence is not equivalent to wisdom and I myself do not value intelligence very highly.)

Also, he DOES make some valid points and people are not listening to him.  At the start of the video he says "I would ask you to listen to me with the same intensity you criticize me." Well, I hope that sometime in all this someone will listen to him and acknowledge where he makes the valid points, in his own way he has his code of integrity. All human beings need to be able to learn and move on and not get totally crushed. 

I couldn't agree more, Virginia, that Salcido should not be receiving death threats, and that if the perpetrators can be found, they should be prosecuted.

But unfortunately for Salcido, his getting threats has NO relevance to the question of whether or not he should have been fired; he's simply playing the victim card. (I have little doubt that he also would have played the race card, except for the fact that 95% of his critics, at least the ones on YouTube, were also of Hispanic ancestry.)

As for listening to him with intensity, I did just that, and found his arguments sorely lacking in substance and credibility. I think it is clear that his true sentiments on the military came out in that clip that went viral, and on further investigation, if his former student and student's parent are to be believed (starting at 3:08 on the clip above), he also had a long prior history of berating and bullying students and using profane language in class, so his anti-military tirade was no uncharacteristic moment of passion.

I also think, as I said in my reply to Rooster up above, that Salcido's superiors finally acted as they did because of the national attention his behavior had attracted; they had to act at that point, although I'm sure there must already have been plenty of prior individual complaints about him.

Finally, I don't think he is completely crushed.  He may have to find a new job, but I'm sure there are some ultra-left school districts (in San Francisco, say) that would be only too happy to hire a man of his political leanings; heck, they might even make him superintendent (and I'm only partly kidding).

Edit:  It just occurred to me, Evergreen State would be the PERFECT place for him; too bad they have a hiring freeze just now.  :(

Virginia Virginia Apr 2

Well Tink, your edit gave me my first laugh-out-loud of the day!

Also, looking at your fourth paragraph, yesterday after our conversation I was wondering; IF the student had indeed taken his/her video to the school administrators instead of posting to YouTube, would those administrators have acted upon it, or would they have swept-under-rug, glossed-over? In other words, did they act only because of public pressure? 

From your research, it does appear Salcido had been carrying on like this for a while...25 years ago, when my friend's beautiful daughter was in high school a male teacher was harassing her mercilessly for sexual favours. When Alicia finally complained to the principal and superintendent, she was told that her 15-year-old daughter would have to learn to cope with such behavior because that is how the world is! And then nothing was done about the teacher. 

So for me, I think I would place more blame on the school system than upon this one teacher. Salcido needed a mentor/stronger supervisor to get him settled down in life long ago, not carry on like that. Did you find his age anywhere? Is he in his 30's? Can we attribute some of this to the arrogance of youth?

And (sigh) with my eternal gullibility I am hoping Evergreen gets their act together now, this 'self-correction' that does NOT seem to be happening with our nation...:( <3

He'll be FIFTY this year, Virginia.

Not a case of arrogance of youth... just plain self-centered arrogance. It's all about HIM in his deranged mind.

Yes, he should have been straightened out a long time ago, but his kind is unstraightenable, I think.  :ermm:

Virginia Virginia Apr 2

Hmmm...fifty...n'kay, back to the school system; does that suggest he may have been teaching high schoolers for 25 years or so? And just now, when the YouTube went viral, they are finally calling him to account?

Appears to me, school system is the problem...Gregory should have been mentored/straightened out LONG ago, and if unstraightenable-outable then directed into another field. I know from friends, there ARE teachers who go into the field for the power trip; not saying that is Gregory, but just that it does happen.

Virginia, I admire your forgiving nature, looking for every avenue to give Salcido the benefit of the doubt, but did you read the Wikipedia summary of his past history in his 20 or so years of teaching?  I hadn't until just now; I previously only used it to look up how old he is.

Apparently, this recent flap was not the first time he had been suspended on administrative leave.

“Salcido started his teaching career at his alma mater, El Rancho High School, in 1998.[2] Although popular with many of his Hispanic and immigrant students, his tenure as teacher at El Rancho was marred by controversy. On three separate occasions, Salcido has been put on administrative leave.

In 2005, a parent complained about a class discussion about masturbation. Investigators with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department cleared Salcido of any wrongdoing.[5]

In July 2010, Salcido was reprimanded and placed on administrative leave after a parent complained about Salcido's conduct in the classroom.[6] A parent alleged that his Anglo-American 16-year-old daughter had been threatened by Salcido and that Salcido had made inappropriate insulting comments about race, other students and parents.[4] One student complained that Salcido had said, "Shut up, Kelly, before I kill you."[4][6]

In May 2012, Salcido was placed on administrative leave after the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received a complaint that he had struck a Anglo-American student. Salcido admitted striking the student and said the student had been disruptive by sleeping in class.[7] The child, named David, also alleged that Salcido bullied him in a sexually derisive and dismissive manner based on the boy's weight and appearance, calling him "Chaz Bono". “

Now I ask you, Virginia, what kind of history teacher teaches about masturbation in a coed class of teenagers?  Was the topic of the day the history of Dr. John Harvey Kellog's whacked out theories on the subject? Somehow, I don't think that's part of the state history curriculum. I DO think Salcido was probably getting some kind of prurient satisfaction from the discussion.

And what kind of teacher hits a sleeping student and then berates him for his appearance? Or threatens to "kill" them?  Or makes racist comments?
And there were further allegations at the City Council meeting of Salcido deriding students for being Christian. Is this a proper role for a teacher?

It seems he was seriously reprimanded by the school district at least twice before this final time this year, and chose not to learn from those reprimands.

Jesus taught that a repentant sinner should be forgiven 70 times seven times, but He was not so patient with unrepentant sinners, e.g., the money changers in the Temple or the scribes and Pharisees, the "whited sepulchers" full of corruption.  I think Salcido falls into the unrepentant category.

Furthermore, according to the Wiki article, "In 2012, Salcido was fined by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for campaign finance violations and fined $2,500," so his political activities seem not to have been squeaky clean either.

So yes, perhaps the school district did not put a stop to his disgraceful activities soon enough, but that does not change my opinion that he is and was a first-class LOUSE, and that's putting it as mildly as I can.  :ermm:

Again, I mean no disrespect to you, Virginia; you are as kind and sweet as anyone I've known. It's just that I find this arrogant SOB insufferable, and I think he got just what he deserved, apart from the anonymous threats.

Virginia Virginia Apr 3

Well, Tink, it seems more and more difficult to defend Salcido personally...and no, I did not read the Wikip information, just what you transferred...

My question would still be, why did it take the school system twenty years AND THEN definitive action was taken for dismissal only when a YouTube recording went viral? The more I learn, it is not exactly that I am forgiving him, it was more the benefit of the the sense of scapegoating; that is, we punish Gregory and that solves the problem? 

No...broken school system that kept him around so long. And looks to me you and I are agreeing on this point; whatever he did, it does not justify a witch-hunt, lynch-mob mentality of retribution.

Yes, Virginia, I agree that school systems that cover up Salcido's kind of behavior are indeed broken, rather like the Catholic Church that for centuries covered up child abuse by clergy.

I also agree that some (repeat, SOME) of the public comments at the City Council meeting did resemble a lynch mob mentality on the part of those making those comments (like the vet who said if Salcido had been making his anti-military remarks on a soap box, he might not have survived the day... not helpful).

Nevertheless, the actions of the school board and the City Council were NOT at all lynch-mob; they were perfectly justified on the evidence and merits of the case and were made after careful deliberation.

Now, would they have FINALLY done what they should have done long ago if the recording hadn't gone viral?  Perhaps not, maybe even probably not; administrators don't like bad publicity, and that's why Salcido and other rotten apples like him can get away with it for so long, maybe for their entire careers.

 But what's the alternative?  To let Salcido get away with it yet again, just because some people in the general public have a lynch-mob mentality?  What message would that send to the other Salcidos that are still in place? At least this way, the other scoundrels know they have to be careful; it IS possible for them be fired if the public heat gets high enough.

One final point: a witch-hunt, as I understand it in the legal sense, is a trumped-up charge that has no merit; the alleged wrongdoing does not exist, just as witchcraft (in the magic sense) does not exist.  This was decidedly NOT the case with Salcido... his unacceptable, unprofessional behavior was real enough and very well documented.

Kninjanin Mar 31
Students who record what professors say should be punished. It should not be allowed.

@ Kninjanin:  Perhaps so, but likewise, a high-school teacher should be reported for forcing his private political opinions on his class.  He was properly fired by a unanimous vote of the school district board.

Virginia Mar 31

Tink, regarding our conversation...I came upon this video, likely a more accurate assessment of the US military. Certainly more my experience with them, having worked for the US Dept. of the Army for a few years, Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA.

Yep.  That's been my experience with military people too, Virginia.

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