The Education of Shelby Knox – a review

So there is a lot I want to write about today – The Education of Shelby Knox, which I saw last night and heard Shelby speak afterwards, the Miley Cyrus debacle, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who are working on the FLDS case, and the hearings on the effectiveness of abstinence-only-until-marriage “sex education” to name four of the top of my head. Regrettably, time is short and my children are sick. So I am going to restrain myself to raving about The Education of Shelby Knox. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow (or the next day, or the next) for the rest. But never fear, gentle readers, I will get to all these pressing topics soon! 🙂

The Education of Shelby Knox chronicles a high school student’s search for religious truth and meaning while working tirelessly towards the goal of comprehensive sex education for high school students in Lubbock, Texas. It’s a great movie, with a mixture of funny and emotional moments that’s hard to come by in a documentary. I highly recommend it as a great watch!

I do wonder, though, at the effect on Shelby of having her adolescent life spread rather copiously in the public view. This is somewhat different from the standard teenage starlet, because it’s an actual documentary of Shelby’s actual life over three years. Several blog posts ago, the conversation arose about what’s appropriate for teenagers to have put out there in this very information and media saturated world – naked pictures? a documentary about their life? – before their cognitive processes and judgement have developed to the point where the State deems them able to make full decisions (i.e., either 18 or 21, depending on your perspective).

Shelby herself appears to have flourished in the wake of the documentary, and is now working as a consultant across the country on supporting and expanding comprehensive sex education.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.