A California teacher and Democratic councilman who sparked controversy in January for denigrating the military has refused to step down from his seat on the Pico Rivera city council, even after the body passed a resolution calling for his resignation.
A Tuesday city council meeting was fraught with constituents appearing to rebuke Gregory Salcido and who urged him to resign, CNN reported.
Salcido, who was first elected to the council in 1999 and served as the city's mayor in 2002, 2010, and 2015, was filmed ranting to his high school history class in a video that was posted by a student on Facebook last month.
The outburst was apparently provoked when the student who filmed the incident captured Salcido's attention for wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt in class. The student plans to join the military after high school, following in the footsteps of his father, who served in Afghanistan.
"Think about the people you know who are over there," Salcido can be heard saying in the video. "Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They're dumb shits. They're not high-level thinkers; they're not academic people; they're not intellectual people. They're the lowest of our low."
Salcido also expressed his displeasure with high schools for allowing military recruiters on premises, comparing the practice to allowing pimps to openly recruit prostitutes.
"I don't understand why we let the military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don't let pimps come in the school," Salcido said.
The city council meeting was Salcido's first public appearance since the video went viral.
"If this situation caused a problem, I certainly do apologize for it," Salcido said. "If anything I've said has hurt somebody it was unintentional."
Salcido claims his comments were taken out of context and that he meant no disrespect to the military. Rather, it was his aim to motivate students to further themselves by attending college.
"I don't think the people in the military have low moral character. I think people in the military or students who look into the military are lower standing students," Salcido said. "That's not a moral judgment on them."