School Committeeman John Oliveira's vulgar tirades have become legendary and very tiring at the same time. Oliveira should resign his position on the School Committee if he is unable to control his childish outbursts.

Mayor Jon Mitchell, who chairs the School Committee meetings, tells me he and the entire school board have become weary of Oliveira's antics and have discussed what limited options they might have available to deal with him. It appears there is little that can be done, as the School Committee apparently does not have the authority under the City Charter to remove one of its own members.

Some cheer Oliveira's behavior as that of a maverick who is simply raging against the machine. Yeah, not so much. His outbursts are outrageous and at times have bordered on violence, such as the time he confronted former Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin in her office prior to his even being sworn in.

1420 WBSM/Youtube
1420 WBSM/Youtube

The City Council has dealt with similar situations in the past by having disruptive members and meeting attendees removed by the police. The late At-Large Councilor William "The Watchdog" Saltzman was regularly removed from meetings by the police after being declared out of order by the council president. Community activist Gilly Safioleas has also found himself being led from council chambers by police. Oliveira needs to be dealt with in the same manner.

The news media and the School Committee need to do a better job in communicating to the public the nature of John Oliveira's behavior so that it may make a more informed decision as to whether to return him to the committee when his term expires in two years. It appears as though both have adopted the attitude that if they ignore the problem, it will go away.

WBSM's Tim Dunn has filed a report on Oliveira's most recent outburst and it is alarming.

In the meantime, Mr. Oliveira needs to exercise some decorum or hand over his seat to someone who will.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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