Victor Quinonez, a senior at El Rancho High School, recorded video of his U.S. government teacher Gregory Salcido ranting about the military and insulting service members' intelligence. The diatribe was apparently prompted in part by Quinonez' wearing a U.S. Marines sweatshirt.
"They're not like high level thinkers, they're not academic people, they're not intellectual people," Salcido ranted. "They're the freakin' lowest of our low."
After a rant like that, veterans and patriotic Americans alike are in a hot uproar!
"Quite frankly, we denounce his statements," Pico Rivera's Mayor Gustavo Camacho declared.
"You better not freaking go," Salcido says in one of the videos. "Don't wear that in here."
A Connecticut woman who is a friend of the family posted the videos on Facebook on Jan. 26, and one of them has been viewed more than 6 million times as of Monday afternoon. The friend, Kimberlie Flauto, made the videos public and asked for help making them go "viral."
According to Salcido's Facebook post, he "can care less" if he's offended anyone and dropped some F-bombs on the Vets while he was at it!
Salcido also happens to be a city council member in this small So Cal community, and now city leaders may take action.
"I am looking at all options as through my authority and my fellow councilmembers," the mayor said. "But one action that I do have and I will take is I am removing him from all committees."
And the school district is looking at taking action against Salcido, too.
But some students say not so fast!
What about free speech in America?
"He had a good reputation here, and that like just messed up his whole career," one student insisted.
Standing alongside his 17-year-old son Monday, Quinonez' father Vincent expressed ire about the classroom comments made by Salcido, who is also a Pico Rivera city councilman.
"It's not about freedom of speech. That's fine, he can say what he wants, but to say it to the youth is wrong. To bully my son is wrong, to discriminate against people who want to be in the military is wrong," said Vincent Quinonez.
And now the student who blew the whistle on the outspoken teacher can't believe how far this has gone: "I didn't intend for this to go viral at all. It was just meant for some other veterans to see."
On Monday, Victor Quinonez told KTLA he recorded the videos because he was tired of hearing disparaging remarks about the military from the teacher. The eldest of five siblings, Quinonez is now worried about how his sophomore brother will be treated at school.
"I'm worried about the safety of my brothers right now, I'm not so worried about myself," Victor Quinonez said. "My brother had nothing to do with this. I don't understand why students have to go bringing my brother into this and bringing my other family members in to this."
Quinonez' mother, Karen Rodriguez, told KTLA she was keeping her son home from school Monday because he has received threats since the video was posted. She said Salcido made her son stand in front of the class to justify why he wants to become a Marine after graduating this year.
El Rancho Unified School District board President Aurora R. Villon told the Times that Salcido's comments did not reflect the city's values.
"It's so traditional and so rooted in strong family values," Villon said.
Salcido, 49, was placed on administrative leave in 2012 after a parent said he smacked her 15-year-old son on the back of the son while in class. Salcido told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune he did so not with intent to harm the boy but to wake him up.
Sounds like the lesson from this rant may be far from over!