Parents seek answers after Charleston substitute teacher's arrest
CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCCU) —
A substitute teacher for the Charleston Community Unit School District was arrested Thursday on a warrant out of Texas. Adrian Rivas, 39, was arrested just before noon at a school by the U.S. Marshall and Charleston Police.
"We didn't get a phone call [from the school district] and it's typical that we get a phone call when anything happens that they want us to be aware of,” one parent said who did not want to be identified.
Rivas was arrested at Jefferson Elementary.
"As parents, we're trying to communicate with each other and trying to do our searches and find out what's going on and we should be getting that from the administrators and from the schools,” the parent said.
Rivas was arrested on a warrant that was issued in 2018 out of Montgomery County Texas. He began as a substitute in Charleston in October. The school district said he passed a background check and had to undergo fingerprinting, but the warrant was issued after they hired him and it did not appear on their records.
Rivas was in court Friday morning. If Rivas bonds out, he can't have contact with anyone under 18-years-old unless they are family. If the person is not family, another adult must be present.
The anonymous parent who did not want to be identified said her oldest son had Rivas as a substitute at Charleston High School.
"My son said that before the students can enter the classroom they had to shake [Rivas’] hand and if they didn't shake his hand they had to go to the end of the line and re-enter the classroom once they decided to shake his hand.”
The parent said after Rivas’ arrest, the thought of her son’s recollection of Rivas is concerning.
"If I didn't know the background I would think ‘oh he's a friendly guy,’ but then when you hear something like this then you second guess it and question it,” the parent said.
Rivas is being held in the Coles County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He is expected back in Coles County court February 15.
See Charleston School District’s statement below:
Press Release 2/9/2018
U.S. Marshalls contacted District officials yesterday with information
that Adrian Rivas, an at-will substitute teacher in the District was wanted
as a Fugitive from Justice, for arrest in Texas on outstanding felony
charges. District officials cooperated with the U.S. Marshall and Charleston
Police Department and he was taken into custody.
Every employee in the Charleston School District, including Mr. Rivas must
undergo and pass a criminal background check, including FBI
fingerprinting as a condition of employment. Mr. Rivas worked
intermittently as a substitute teacher from October 18, 2017 until
yesterday. His arrest was not related to his employment in the District.