IFAS | Freedom Writer | May 1996 | question.html

Q UESTION OF THE M ONTH
The Christian Coalition mails surveys to candidates running for
school board. What sort of questions are on these surveys?

The Christian Coalition of New York recently mailed a survey to candidates appearing on the ballot for school board elections on May 7 in New York. The questionnaire offers three possible responses: support, oppose, or undecided.

Freedom Writer Magazine interviewed Jeff Baran, executive director of Christian Coalition of New York, about the questionnaire. Although Baran avoided revealing the "correct" answer to the questions, he agreed that in most cases the conservative Christian would back the candidates who chose "support." However, there were two possible exceptions.

The first is Question 10, which reads, "Keeping children in bilingual classes for longer than the three year maximum." This question, Baran said, was suggested by people in New York City, where children "are not being taught English early enough." He said they "languish in their home language too long." They need to learn English sooner "so they can assimilate." Baran refused to reveal who in New York suggested this question, but said that they oppose keeping children in bilingual classes any longer than three years.

The second question where the desired response is "oppose," is Question 19. It reads, "Students being taught about alternative lifestyles including homosexual relationships, extramarital and premarital relationships."

The questions generally reflect a lack of confidence in school board members. Rather than allow school board members to do the job they are elected to do, the Christian Coalition apparently is willing to override the system by allowing parents to have the final say on every issue.

Here are the questions (to be answered "support," "oppose," or "undecided"):

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.