Posted on June 22, 2011 at 4:47 P.M. Last updated on June 24, 2011 at 9:05 A.M.
A recent SoonerPoll finds that likely Oklahoma voters oppose the expression of both religious and political views by public school teachers in the classroom. A 46.8 percent plurality thought that teachers should not be allowed to express religious views in the classroom, while a 58.3 percent majority felt teachers should not be allowed to express political views.
The poll also reveals that likely Oklahoma voters are more willing to accept the expression of religious views than political views. The poll found that 46.6 percent of likely Oklahoma voters agree that teachers should be allowed to express religious views in the classroom compared to just 35 percent who felt the same way about political views.
When results are broken down by political label, crosstabs indicate that 62.1 percent of liberals oppose the expression of religious views in the classroom, compared to 40.9 percent of conservatives. Similarly, 70.7 percent of liberals oppose teachers’ political expression in the classroom compared to 57.9 percent of conservatives
In his most recent commentary, SoonerPoll guest commentator Kurt Hochenauer said he found it a little surprising that liberals overwhelmingly opposed teachers expressing political views in this poll.
“This is in a political environment in which teachers are often claimed to be less conservative than the overall general population, but I’m unsure how true that is in Oklahoma,” Hochenauer said.
Crosstab analysis reveals that of the 46.6 percent of respondents who think religious beliefs have a place in the classroom, nearly a third (28.7 percent) do not feel the same way about political beliefs. Further analysis reveals that these respondents are 75 percent evangelical, 69 percent conservative and 66 percent favorable of the Tea Party.
By comparison, just 10.1 percent of those who felt political views should be expressed in the classroom did not feel the same way about religious views. The crosstabs show that these respondents are 61 percent evangelical, 55 percent moderate and 27 percent favorable of the Tea Party.
SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster commissioned the poll. The scientific study was conducted using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.