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The Education of Shelby Knox
The Education of Shelby Knox
Actors: Rene Caudillo, Yvonne Caudillo, Shelby Knox, Amanda Noble, Ricky Waite
Directors: Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt
Genres: Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 16min

Shelby Knox--a wide-eyed, precocious activist--is the star of THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX, a riveting tale of one girl?s mission to bring sex education to schools in her ultra-conservative hometown of Lubbock, Texas. Burs...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Rene Caudillo, Yvonne Caudillo, Shelby Knox, Amanda Noble, Ricky Waite
Directors: Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt
Creators: Gary Griffin, Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt, Jeremy Stulberg, Amy Kohn, Cara Mertes, Charlotte Buchen, David Valdez, Rebecca Honig-Friedman, Sally Jo Fifer
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Politics, Religion
Studio: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/26/2006
Original Release Date: 06/21/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 06/21/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 16min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A thought-provoking and inspiring documentary about the maki
Jessica Lux | Rosamond, CA | 06/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Life in Lubbock, TX has taught me two things: one is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell, the other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on Earth and you should save it for someone you love." -- Attributed to Butch Hancock, The Flatlanders.

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. By the end of the film, Shelby emerges as a fierce Democrat who has convinced her Republican parents of the importance of sex education but can't get them to budge on gay rights. This is as much the story of religion's hold on Lubbock as it is the making of a political activist. Shelby Knox reminds us all to act with passion about the issues close to our hearts.

Creation of an Activist
Bryan A. Pfleeger | Metairie, Louisiana United States | 09/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Education of Shelby Knox is a rare film about a person who tries to make a difference in her world. The film focuses on three years in the life of Shelby Knox a Lubbuck, Texas teen as she fights for sex education in her school district.

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."
J. Rude | Los Angeles, CA | 11/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'The Education of Shelby Knox' documents the political awakening of a Texan teenager over the course of three years. The young activist Shelby Knox is inspiring, in her courage to ask difficult questions and in her unflagging drive to make her town and school a better place. In the process of telling Shelby's story, the filmmakers reveal the difficulties of individuals trying to enact policy changes in the face of officially sanctioned intolerance and hypocrisy, and they show a local government afraid to come to grips with the realities of human sexuality. I believe this film's relevance goes far beyond Lubbock, Texas -- in essence, it is a look into the heart and soul of America. Every parent and every teen should see this film."
Who says young people don't "care"?
Ana Mardoll | United States | 01/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Education of Shelby Knox / B000GG4XYC


I love documentaries (probably a little too much!) and as soon as I heard about The Education of Shelby Knox, I had to rush out and rent it. This is a nice little documentary about the fight of one girl to obtain comprehensive sex education in her school district and, along the way, obtain the right of gay students to not be discriminated against.

Shelby Knox is, in many ways, the embodiment of our wonderful American teenagers. She earnestly cares about fairness and equality. Shelby lives in a city with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country and she wants her friends and schoolmates to be given proper education and facts about sex and sexual consequences in order that they be prepared for their future lives. She also hurts, genuinely, to see the gay students at her school openly discriminated against. Shelby is not, herself, gay or sexually active, but she recognizes unfairness when she sees it and she obviously has a passion for righting wrongs. She is also, like most teenagers, blessed with an ounce of self-centeredness which buoys her in times of trial and setbacks.

Shelby does not succeed in her quest - through no fault of her own, I might add - but she fails with grace and dignity. She excels in spite of small-town judgmental attitudes that judge her suspiciously for her activism and her associations. She flourishes in spite of a home life that, in my humble opinion, seems unfortunately authoritarian - her parents regularly discourage her (overtly and subversively) against her activism, particularly with regards to gay rights. They sort of come around in the end to put on a good face, but in my opinion their lack of enthusiastic support for their giving, caring daughter is very stifling.

This isn't your usual documentary. There are almost no experts interviewed, which I feel would have been a huge bonus to the enterprise, and would have warranted five stars. This is, instead the story of one young woman's crusade, as it happened. Although the editing can be a bit sloppy at times, I recommend this documentary, if only for the bits involving the True Love Waits pastor and his wonderful speech in which he successfully leaves students with the impression that you can get AIDS merely from shaking someone's hand. Ah, American education at its finest.

I do not own this movie - I rented this through my Blockbuster Online account."