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Waynesboro school officials mum on controversial football-coach hire

Chris Graham
shonn bell
Photo: Waynesboro Schools

The strategy of the Waynesboro School Board and Waynesboro Public Schools with the controversial hiring of a new football coach at Waynesboro High School appears to be to hope the controversy just goes away.

The school board met behind closed doors on Thursday to discuss the hire of Shonn Bell, a Waynesboro native, NAIA All-American, former NFL player and prep and semi-pro assistant coach, who also has two criminal convictions, for resisting arrest and DUI, and a 1993 rape charge that was later dismissed, on his resume.

The 90-minute meeting ended with the school board not even acknowledging what it had discussed, and late Friday afternoon, Teresa Floyd, the board’s deputy clerk, sent out an agenda for next week’s public board meeting that noticeably didn’t include anything in the form of an action item on the Bell hire.

Earlier in the day on Friday, AFP reached out to Jeffrey Cassell, the superintendent of Waynesboro Public Schools, and Debra Freeman-Belle, the chair of the school board, to inquire about the employment status of Bell.

At this writing on Saturday morning, neither Cassell nor Freeman-Belle had responded to that query.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].