Freedom Writer |
May 1996 |
UESTION OF THE
The Christian Coalition mails surveys to candidates running
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
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
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
Here are the questions (to be answered "support," "oppose," or
© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.
- Parents' right to inspect the instructional materials and methods.
- Informing parents of all curriculum changes, in writing, prior to
the changes being implemented.
- Parental notification and approval prior to psychologically
evaluating, testing, or treating students.
- Parental consent be required before students are instructed on
issues relating to human sexuality, including discussions on
- Parental consent be required before students can receive
information and/or care from school-based health clinics.
- Stressing basic academic skills (reading, writing, arithmetic)
over more socially oriented curriculum (situational ethics,
self-esteem, alternative lifestyles).
- Curriculum that emphasizes American culture while respecting
individual ethnic, religious and national heritage.
- A moment of silence be afforded for voluntary prayer in the
- The only purpose of school-based health clinics should be basic
health care and not a as dispensary for contraceptive devices and
information and abortion referrals.
- Keeping children in bilingual classes for longer than the three
- Students classified with marginal special education needs (i.e.
Attention Deficiency Syndrome, ADS [sic]) be placed in regular classes
and supported with extra help.
- Give teachers the authority to immediately remove disciplinary
problem students from class.
- Requiring local school districts to submit to an independent audit
with results being reported to the public.
- Board of Education to more aggressively use its authority to
suspend or fine teachers and administrators who have been involved in
physical and sexual abuse or misconduct involving students (including
possession of child pornography).
- Introduction of a school choice program within the public school
- Setting of higher standards and expectations for academic
- Teaching abstinence as the only effective method to avoid
transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Primary emphasis on abstinence as the most effective method to
- Students being taught about alternative lifestyles including
homosexual relationships, extramarital and premarital relationships.