Barber, Tedesco face off at WRAL

Posted August 12, 2010 9:25 p.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2010 6:01 a.m. EDT

— The debate over Wake County public schools moved to the WRAL studios on Thursday when two men most often associated with the school assignment controversy – N.C. NAACP president Rev. William Barber and school board member John Tedesco – faced off.

“Be very serious, John. This is not a game,” Barber told Tedesco in a heated exchange on the set of WRAL-TV program N.C. Spin.

The two had just participated in an episode of the half-hour program.

“You can’t just overlook all of this ground and suggest the socio-economic diversity is the problem,” Barber said.

Barber and Tedesco joined N.C. Spin host Tom Campbell for a discussion on the board's move away from the school system's current student assignment plan, which buses students in an effort to try to balance socio-economic diversity.

Tedesco explained why the new majority on the school board scrapped the policy in favor of neighborhood schools.

“We talked to thousands of people and we felt confident of the direction of where they wanted,” Tedesco said.

Barber was quick to criticize their methods saying they were going to “dismantle a plan without a plan.”

Since the board’s decision, there have been protests and arrests from those fearful it will re-segregate the system.

NC Spin airs at 8:30 a.m. Sunday on Fox 50.