What The Springboro School Board Election Can Teach Us About Politics And Religion

Nov 6, 2013

Nothing gets much more local than a school board election, but what’s happened in Springboro has gotten national attention. The district has been criticized in recent years over its discussion of hot button topics, like teaching creationism in the classroom and constitutional classes with religious overtones.

With the election of more moderate members, Ron Malone, Charles Anderson and Dave Stuckey, to the school board, voters in Springboro have signaled a shift away from the conservative agenda that has been at play there over the past several years.

This isn't a surprise to Cedarville political science professor Mark Caleb Smith, who is an expert in the Christian right political movement. He says Christians have more political success when they stick with issues that have mass appeal.

"Creationism and school curriculum have historically not been those type of positions, so I think that Christians who want to take their faith and put it in the public arena, when they do it with those particular issues, are going to struggle a lot," says Smith.

Smith adds that’s something that could indicate how future elections across the country will play out as well. But he’s careful not to draw too many conclusions about national implications from such a local race. Smith says all three people who won were qualified. They all had experience in the schools with strong ties to the educational community.