Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A TOS Review: IndoctriNation

Anybody else out there a product of public education? I do have some wonderful memories about my school experience. I learned to play poker on the bus. True story. There were also a few tough moments. Mainly, my whole math education up until college. And that whole unfortunate 5th grade year. As an educator, I have always been a big proponent of school choice. I believe that parents should be able to make the decision to educate their child in manner they see fit. I've also been very careful not to sit in judgment of those who choose an educational path different from one my husband and I have chosen for our son.

 I recently had a chance to review the film IndoctriNation, which was produced by Great Commission Films. The film certainly challenged my own passivity concerning public education and our responsibilites as Christians.

The movie begins as award-winning filmmaker Colin Gunn (along with his family of seven) boards a big, yellow bus for a trip across America to discover the influence the public school system has had on Christianity in America. Are schools neutral in the matter of morality and worldview? Is it possible for a Christian to be salt and light in a secular institution such as the public school?
All manner of thoughts and ideas are presented. We hear from a public school graduate, a principle and teachers. Mr. Gunn interviews a variety of authors, historians and public figures.  I was blown away when I learned where our modern day school system got its start. I had heard many of these names from my education classes in college. I was unprepared for the ideology that some of these men stood behind. Some of it was quite chilling.

The more common (unfortunately) aspects of the public school culture; sex, violence, drugs and alcohol were also discussed.  The DVD is mainly for Christian parents. I might watch it with Josiah in the future, but I have a feeling that some things brought to light in the film will bring about lots of questions. Just be aware that IndoctriNation doesn’t shy away from those things that make us uncomfortable. After all, they are a part of our culture. There is nothing salacious or seedy about the content…the film just speaks the truth.

The DVD is 102 minutes long. I watched it a few times and found myself forgetting to take notes! There is so much meat and things to chew on.  If you have a chance to watch the deleted scenes don’t miss The Federalist Papers segment. It gave me a chuckle.

My Thoughts

I was really touched by this film. It made me sad. I still feel that education should be the decision of a parent. However, what a decision!

My own public school experience was fairly innocuous. I went to smaller schools. My first grade teacher read from the Bible out loud daily and started our morning with prayer. Today she would be been fired. Sadly, teachers with different agendas and beliefs would be allowed to keep their jobs and praised for their progressiveness.

The movie doesn't attack those who make the choice of educating their child in the public school…Nor does it attack teachers. I have many teacher friends who are truly making a difference.  They are truly missionaries. Sadly, I know of many missionaries who would not be kicked out of their host country if they mention the name Jesus or try and defend their faith.

One part of the film really spoke to me as a parent. Here is the quote.

"Is there anything more radical in the history of the human race than turning your children over to total strangers who you know nothing about and having that stranger work on your child's mind out of your sight for a period of 12 years?"


Call me an overprotective mother, but this really hits the nail on the head for me.

Much of my own teaching experience has been in Christian schools. I never had to make the choice between praying with a student or my job. But better than that I have the opportunity to truly pour into my own son! I can fill his education and life with those truths that my husband and I hold dear. 

This morning while driving to a PE class, Josiah told me that he was glad he didn't have to go to “real” school. For one, “there are too many school shootings.”

Gun control advocates will tell you that we need to get rid of the guns. I don’t want to get into a political debate, but I believe that there is a whole different issue at hand.

One of the most touching parts of the film was an interview with a father of one of the students who was killed in the Columbine school shooting. This father was officially notified of his son’s death by opening up the morning paper and seeing his son’s lifeless body lying on an outside sidewalk. This father felt some responsibility for his son’s death. He said, “I’m the one who put him there.”

It broke my heart.

When we made the decision to homeschool is was primarily to meet Josiah’s unique academic and developmental needs. We have now been on this journey for 6 years. It has become a calling and a lifestyle. We also have realized that we have to be faithful to do what we believe God is calling us to. It has not always been a popular or understood decision with loved ones and friends.  This film uses scripture at every point. I really believe that there are no gray areas concerning what I believe God has called me to as Josiah’s mom.

If you are on the fence about Homeschooling and want an informed decision I suggested you watch IndoctriNation. It might just change your life.

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IndoctriNation DVD Review

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