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Monday, November 7, 2005
CNS Reporter Gets Lazy
Do reporters read the work of their fellow reporters? Apparently not.

A Nov. 7 article by Jeff Johnson brings another attack from conservatives on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding a survey given to elementary school students that contained sexually oriented questions. Johnson quotes Allan Edgar, principal of the Emmanuel Christian School in Manassas, Va., as saying, "They call this an 'inappropriate survey.' ... Well, how did they let this go through without approval (from school officials)?"

If Johnson had read the Nov. 4 article by his colleage Nathan Burchfiel, he would know the answer to that, having interviewed the superintendent of the school district at the center of the controversy:

But Palmdale School Superintendent Dr. Jack Gyves told Cybercast News Service Friday that the school district accepted responsibility for the "inappropriate survey" and apologized to parents before it ever went to court.

The survey was conducted by an outside health services consultant who was conducting research for her dissertation, and Gyves said the questionnaire given to the students "was not the version of the survey that had been approved by the district.

This information appears nowhere in Johnson's story.

Johnson also claims that the ruling results in "denying parents the right to opt their elementary school-age children out of a public school sex survey." There is no evidence of that; as Burchfiel's article notes, a parental consent form was issued as part of the survey, but it didn't mention that there were sexually oriented questions because, as noted above, the school did not know that the questions were included. If Johnson had read Burchfiel's article, he would know this.

Johnson also quotes Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, as saying that "The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overruled circuit in the country," which is false and easily fact-checked.

And, of course, we have to wonder: Which CNS employee's kids attend the Emmanuel Christian School in Manassas, Va.? It's a suburb of Washington; CNS HQ is in Alexandria, Va., another DC suburb.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 PM EST

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