"This is the story of our children. This is the story of the big yellow bus. This is the story of IndoctriNation." Scottish native-turned-Texan Colin Gunn has caught my attention, and we are not even 2 minutes into this movie.
"IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America" was released by Great Commission Films in 2011. (retail price $19.95) is a documentary/testimonial of Colin Gunn, a Christian homeschool father of seven who takes his family on a 3-week journey across our nation in a big yellow school bus to investigate the origins of the government school systems, the major shifts over the 200 year history of government schools, and where we are as a nation today compared to when they began.
The movie began with a warning to parents that this was not a video appropriate for children, for which I was grateful. While there was nothing graphic or explicit, and I wouldn't have minded my older 2 watching with me and answering their questions, the content was definitely for adults. Major points of discussion were:
Sexual education and promiscuity
Homosexual education material
Pressure to undermine or renounce the Christian faith
It is important to know from the get go that this film is made for a Christian audience. Most of the arguments and concerns regarding the public schools in America are that they are, as stated above, undermining the Christian faith. Many of the people interviewed stated from personal experience how they have witnessed the moral decline of the schools they are a part of. If you do not hold to the moral tenets of the Christian faith, then you are not going to relate or even care about some of the arguments made against government run schools. If, however, you are a Christian and strive to uphold biblically based morals in your home and family, then you may want to hold on to your seat...because it could be a bumpy ride. Be prepared to have your toes stepped on, but more importantly, your eyes opened.
One of the most striking testimonials for me was an elementary school principal who was a devoted Christian. When asked by Gunn how he uses his position of high standing to be salt and light to his students and in the community, he gets kind of emotional. He compares his role to the story of the little boy standing in front of the dike, putting his finger in the hole to stop the flood. All the while, the foundation is crumbling underneath him. The foundation of the government run schools is no longer built upon God and His word. He says, "I know I am on shaky ground, and I have a hard time with that."
I have heard the "salt and light" argument so many times over the years. That if we take all the Christian families out of the public schools, then we are turning them over to the darkness. It is unfathomable to me that we would put this argument out there. When the teachers and faculty who proclaim Christ are finding the battle overwhelming and essentially unachievable, how then are we to argue that our children should hold the front lines? It is absolutely absurd to me.
Another statement that I found profound and thought provoking was from renowned pastor, RC Sproul, Jr, a huge opponent of government run schools.RC Sproul, Jr. He said that as a Christian community, we aren't "losing" our kids, we are giving them away. "We are sending our Christian kids to a government school who refuses to allow God in, and we wonder why they aren't thriving."
It is a spiritual battle, certainly. But we are not only asking our CHILDREN to fight the battle, we are asking them to go in, hand over their weapons...and still expect them to win.
We are a homeschool family. We started this journey when our oldest was 4 years old. He has never been in a public school setting, nor has any of his siblings. This was a decision prayed over, agonized over, and committed to by my husband and I nearly nine years ago. I will not say it is easy. In fact, it is the hardest thing you could probably choose to do for your kids.
There have definitely been days over the years that that big yellow bus driving past our house had its enticements. I would dream of packing little sack lunches, kissing their cheeks, and enjoying 8-10 hours of child-free living. That is what I'd always assumed I would do. It's what my parents did, and theirs before them...why would I do it any differently? Kelly and I both attended public schools ( I did my entire academic career, Kelly did from 7th grade on) and we came out relatively unscarred. In fact, I mostly enjoyed my school years. So what was the big deal? "IndoctriNation" shows many of the reasons why it IS such a big deal.
Choosing to homeschool was not something we did lightly, or something that we had even considered until the Lord laid it on our hearts. We were convicted and shown in very direct ways that it was the path He had for our family. We (more so, I) struggled with it, in fact even rebelled against it, until we finally committed to follow His leading. I truly believe if I had seen "IndoctriNation" during that time of deciding what to do for our family, the decision would not have taken me nearly as long, nor would I have been so reluctant to try homeschooling in the first place. I know in my heart that we are on the right path, but watching this movie gave me comfort and peace to continue pressing on. That big yellow bus will never hold the enticements that it once held for me, ever again.
More information on IndoctriNation can be found at:
If you would like to know what my fellow TOS Reviewers thought of IndoctriNation, check out the other reviews here: