Tedesco defends letter mentioning races of ex-girlfriends

Posted June 29, 2010

— Wake County Board of Education member John Tedesco said Tuesday that an uproar over comments he made about dating black and Latino women is misdirected.

Tedesco was one of the main proponents of scrapping the school district's long-standing policy of assigning students to balance the socio-economic diversity in schools across the county. He also is crafting the plan that would in the future send students to schools closer to their homes, which supporters of the diversity policy predict will re-segregate schools.

In a letter to the Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, Tedesco tried to defend himself from statements that he was a racist by noting that he has a godson who is black and that he has "a few ex girlfriends who were African American and Latino women."

Tedesco said in the letter that he grew up in low-income housing and has dedicated his life to helping at-risk youth, and he complained that the minority community in Wake County is more concerned about the student assignment plan than addressing the high suspension rates and low graduation rates of black male students.

Some blacks in the community expressed outrage over Tedesco using his dating history to defend his actions, but he responded Tuesday by saying the community should be talking about "the real issues" instead of his past.

"Stop digging for the most ridiculous things,” Tedesco said.

Petty said Tedesco's letter was talked about last week during a meeting among school diversity policy supporters.  She said the tone of that meeting was civil, however.

"I have not heard anyone call Mr. Tedesco a racist. No one I am affiliated with,” Petty said.

She also said that who Tedesco has dated is irrelevant to the tasks at hand.

"His personal life, his sex life has nothing to do with the issues that need to be talked about,” she said.

Petty also said she suspects that Tedesco leaked the letter in question to the media.

Tedesco denied that claim.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • mad_dash Jun 30, 2010

    ajeralddavis...but until this man has walked in the shoes of a black man, he will never understand the fight that a black youth faces in becoming more successful... OMG are you serious? Give it a rest already with the "keeping the poor black man down" carp!

  • scuse2 Jun 30, 2010

    youkiddingme, how is that delusional? Margiotta has already said he is not running again. What is gonna happen when the majority swings the other way? Tedesco better step on it and get everything done before November.

  • soyousay Jun 30, 2010

    He has no family (but hey he's dated and has a "godson"). He has no job (and when he did it realy was not much). He has no experience (nothing that would even remotely apply). What a guy.

  • mindofreason Jun 30, 2010

    ConcernedNCC, they will most likely not have a choice, because if that was the case they would create SEVERE overcrowding issues, or A LOT of unhappy parents. They will have a choice of a base school "supposedly" closer, but probably not that much closer or the choice of a magnet school.

  • ConcernedNCC Jun 30, 2010

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the new policy will ALLOW students to choose to go to a closer school or NOT. It will be their choice. Where is the discrimination in that?

  • NoFreakinWay Jun 30, 2010

    Good luck on seeing Marg. leave in Nov. You're delusional!

  • Remy Jun 30, 2010

    You all voted in this little troll, now you deal with it and quit your whinning. Open your eyes, he is not all that! If he had any common sense he would have kept his mnouth closed and let them hang themselves. The blind leading the blind. All you Little T supporters that think he can do no wrong are going to have your voter cards taken away!

  • scuse2 Jun 30, 2010

    Once Margiotta leaves in November, things will go back to normal and Tedesco won't be seen again on the news.

  • ugottabkiddinme Jun 30, 2010

    This woman is a preacher...must have taken online courses like the REV Barber did. she says she has heard noone call him a racist...hmmm what hole have you had your head in, and at what point did todesco say he had sex with these women, she also says lets just talk about the issues, he's right the opposition doesnt want to talk the just want the attention and to grandstand...the majority voted for change deal with it!!

  • NoFreakinWay Jun 29, 2010

    works for me. maybe Barber and Petty will discuss your data with you.