US & Canada

'Anti-military' California teacher fired for video rant

Gregory Salcido Image copyright CBS
Image caption Teacher Gregory Salcido was caught on video disparaging members of the military

A California teacher has been fired for making negative comments about members of the military, US media report.

Gregory Salcido, 49, was caught on video in January saying members of the military are "not intellectual people" and "the freaking lowest of our low".

The high school teacher was fired after an investigation into his remarks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mr Salcido denies being anti-military but said he maintains the military is not the best option for his students.

"My goal, as it relates to my students, related to the military, is to get them to do everything to get to college," Mr Salcido said at a city council meeting on 13 February.

The El Rancho High School teacher said his remarks came from his frustration that students of lower academic standing often end up in the military.

"It's not just the military, I don't want them working at a fast food restaurant either. And any comment related to, is out of context," he said, according to television station KCBS.

The secret recording was made by student Victor Quinonez, the news outlet reports.

The video, reportedly in response to a student wearing a Marines shirt, was widely shared online and thrust the controversy into the national spotlight.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Mr Salcido "ought to go to hell".

Protesters lined the streets at a February city council meeting, which drew 500 outraged people.

Mr Salcido said people have threatened to kill him, rape his wife and leave his son an orphan since the video was released, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He told reporters that the situation had been overblown and exaggerated.

The city council, of which he is a member, called on him to resign from his post on Tuesday.

"If he had any respect for himself he should resign. The community does not like what he's said," Councilman David Armenta said.

Mr Salcido reportedly has 30 days to appeal the decision.