School Committee’s John Oliveira Is a Disgrace [OPINION]
New Bedford School Committeeman John Oliveira continues to behave in a disgraceful manner and is an embarrassment to himself and the school district he professes to care so deeply about.
Oliveira burst upon the local political scene at a time when the school district was still attempting to re-establish itself. His fiery rebellious attitude made him immediately popular with many voters who were fed up with a chronically underperforming system that had for years been stacked with cronies and political hacks. He seemed a breath of fresh air, promising to take on the establishment.
Oliveria collected more than 6,000 votes in the 2017 election, the second-highest tally in the School Committee race. He thanked voters by immediately getting banned from school properties for his violent and vulgar tirades aimed at then-Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin and others.
Oliveira's vulgar behavior continues at public meetings. This week, he made a total fool of himself with a profane display of immaturity while opposing the upgrading and renaming of a ballfield at the Carlos Pachecho Elementary School for a young man who lost his battle with cancer three years ago. See the video for yourself here (it starts at about the 58:40 mark).
Arsene "AJ" DaSilva was 16 years old when he died. He learned to play baseball at the field with his father Scott DaSilva.
Oliveira opposed the move to upgrade the field to honor DaSilva, which is certainly his right to do. But the vulgar outburst that has become his hallmark was over the top and completely out of order. Oliveira's colleagues appear to have grown frustrated and tired of his childish behavior, yet none seems ready to call him out for it.
The New Bedford School Committee should censure John Oliveira for his behavior and if possible consider expelling him from the body altogether. His attitude and the way in which he conducts business on behalf of the City of New Bedford is deplorable and simply not acceptable.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.