The Education of Shelby Knox
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Shelby Knox made a purity pledge at age 16, just like any good Southern Baptist in Texas. Her fantasy boyfriend would be a fellow Broadways actor in Phantom of the Opera. She's never seen a condom or a penis (she guessed condoms might be black in color). She respects the pastor to whom she made her True Love Waits pledge, but she firmly believes that the church shouldn't be dictating the school's abstinence-only sex education platform.
The documentary is the story of Shelby's crusade to change sex education in her hometown of Lubbock, TX, which suffers astronomically high rates of teen pregnancy and STD transmission. Throughout the course of the movie, we watch Shelby mature from an outspoken and passionate high school sophomore to a confident, eloquent, convicted junior who is unafraid of even the most entrenched opponents. When a values coalition leader threatens to use his power to fire any city official who works with Shelby, and then tells Shelby not to undermine her own religious morality, she puts him in his place and firmly tells him not to question her personal relationship with God.
Shelby comes from a dedicated Republican father and compassionate Christian mother. Their order of priorities is God, Family, Country. Shelby does much soul searching during her campaign, talking with her pastor about her religion and its place in her school, as well as quizzing him on the church's stance on gays.Read more ›
Shelby Knox knew that the abstinence only policy of her school district was not working. Lubbuck has one of the highest teen pregnancy and teen STD rates in the country. As the newly elected member of the Lubbuck Youth Commission she tries to tackle sex education head on. We see her struggles with her peers, her community, her pastor, her parents and herself as she tries to reconcile her strict Southern Baptist beliefs with the world she lives in.
This is the rare documentary that gives an honest portrait of someone who is trying to make a difference. The struggles may not always provide the results that are hoped for but they do help to build a better world. Knox through her convictions grows as a person and as a citizen.
This is the type of film that if seen by more people would really make a difference. You may not share all of her beliefs but you cannot help but be proud of this young woman who stands up for what she believes in.
My problem with this film is that a lot of it comes across as staged and awkward. I don't deny Knox must have had these exchanges with her parents and the preacher, but to my eye a lot of them have been recreated for the camera. The more documentaries I watch the more I realise they are a work or art as much as a portrayal of what you're (supposed to be) seeing and this film comes across as very clunky, as though the makers came across the story late in the day and had to start over. It's definitely worth watching though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hard to believe there are parts of this country that are against sex education. And though this documentary showed this group of students as involved and caring about this one... Read morePublished on December 11, 2012 by John M Pocekay
a well made video giving hope to those who want to make their society better. we cannot always win, but we can still make some noise and maybe make a difference.Published on December 14, 2010 by Chris P. Gaugler
Education of Shelby Knox / B000GG4XYC
I love documentaries (probably a little too much! Read more
Like every true revolutionary, Shelby Knox, a tenth grader in Lubbock, Texas, just started out to do something she thought was right. Read morePublished on December 11, 2008 by Barry Hampe
I enjoyed this movie very much. I aim to use it in my (Dutch) church youthgroup as a start for a discussion about sexuality/abstinence/homosexuality and how "we Christians" think... Read morePublished on March 2, 2008 by Dutch Girl
Excellent film about a young girl from Lubbock, TX and her personal and political journey to adulthood as she comes to terms with her own Christian values about abstinence until... Read morePublished on April 5, 2007 by Maryjo M. Oster