Tedesco defends letter mentioning races of ex-girlfriends
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.Posted — Updated
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.
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.
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