A crowd of supporters turned out Saturday to pay tribute to Victor Quinonez, the 17-year-old senior at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera who captured his teacher’s profanity-laced classroom rant against the military on a secretly recorded video that went viral.
American Legion Post 61 presented a certificate of recognition in a sunset ceremony on board the Battleship Iowa in San Pedro.
A humble Quinonez said he appreciated the recognition. “It means the world to me because I’ve always seen these veterans as my heroes, and now that they’re telling me they see me as their hero, I feel very honored,” he said.
The teacher, Gregory Salcido, has been placed on paid leave by the school district and the incident remains under investigation. On the recording, Salcido is heard telling students in the classroom that members of the military are “the frickin’ lowest of the low.” He mocks those who go into the military as “desperate” and having “no other options.”