FRAMINGHAM – A candidate for School Committee in Framingham was arrested by Framingham Police earlier this year, and was in court this week.
In June 2017, John B. Rivera, 27, who announced his candidacy for a write-in seat in District 9, was in court trying to get a charge dropped against him.
Rivera, a Democrat, was arrested at Mary Dennison playground, after the manager at Angry Ham’s called police to report an incident. The manager had told police one of the four men involved in the incident had a gun, but not Rivera.
Police searched the four men at the park and found no gun. They did search Rivera’s vehicle and found a box of bullets in the car.
Rivera, 27, of Interfaith Terrace was charged with possession of ammunition without an FID card.
Rivera said he did not know the box of bullets were in the car, and said they were not his.
Rivera told Framingham Source his case this week was moved to December 15, for a motion to “suppress and dismiss,” by his lawyer.
Framingham Police charged Michael Rodriguez, 31, of, Marlborough with assault with a firearm and threatening to commit a crime. A grand jury indicted Rodriguez recently. It did not indict Rivera.
In the arrest report, it implied Rivera may be a gang member, however Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson said Rivera is not on the Framingham Police Department’s known gang list.
Rivera in announcing his write-in candidacy for School Committee in District 9 this week, said he was a “lifelong Framingham resident that grew up in the south side of Framingham on Interfaith Terrace.”
Rivera said he is a “Hispanic American who grew up with grandparents that had limited English speaking skills. When it came to matters related to school, my grandparents were often not familiar with many of the duties that were expected of them. They were unable to attend parent-teacher nights, due to the language barrier that existed between them and the teaching staff. As a result, I was often required to translate for my grandparents in order to inform them of what was being asked of them.”
Rivera said he can “empathize with the children and their families who encounter difficulties stemming from language barriers.”
Rivera attended Stapleton Elementary School and Walsh Middle School.
“After graduating from Framingham High School, I attended Massachusetts Bay Community College, where I earned my associates in Liberal Arts. I later continued my undergraduate education at Framingham State University and earned my B.A in History in 2014,” he told Source. “While studying at Framingham State University, I had taken several education classes so I could graduate with a minor in Education. Unfortunately, I had to drop my minor so that I could graduate in the time that FAFSA allowed. I have experience learning in all stages of the Framingham Public School system that gives me great insight into the challenges bilingual students and families face.”
Rivera said with his bilingual skills in Spanish, and his experiences of being a bilingual student,he will be able to address the concerns of these parents.
“I hope to see that all the students in our public school system get the resources they need to succeed and I feel morally responsible to ensure that the children in our public school system living in District 9 receive these resources,” said Rivera, earlier this week.