05/06/2015 04:03 EDT | Updated 05/06/2016 05:59 EDT

EMSB chair Angela Mancini defends blocking parent survey

English Montreal School Board chairwoman Angela Mancini says her board never intended to prevent a survey prepared by its Central Parents Committee (CPC) from being distributed – only that it wants more time to consult first.

The CPC accused the board Tuesday of exceeding its authority by blocking the survey from being sent home to parents, suggesting the board is afraid to hear what parents have to say.

Responding Wednesday, Mancini said that's not true.

"We're not preventing the survey from going out. What we're saying is we're going to consult.  That's what they asked us to do," Mancini said.

The survey asks parents a wide range of questions on a number of issues.  The parents committee describes it as "innocuous," and committee members say they can't understand why the board would block it.

Mancini said the CPC brought the survey to the board requesting the board formally endorse it.  She said before the board had a chance to do that, the committee took steps to begin distributing it.

Mancini said that was premature.  

She said the board wants input from other parents committees and staff members before endorsing the survey.

In a letter to EMSB school principals, the committee said the principals had become "pawns in a political drama" by refusing to distribute the survey.

CPC members said Tuesday the committee is now considering what to do next.

Mancini said the board will wait for the results of its consultation and vote on whether to endorse the survey at its meeting later this month.

She said it may be distributed after that.