February 23, 2015

IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America {Product Review}

We are a Christian family. When we made the decision to homeschool our boys, this played a major part in our decision, because we could see the major shift in public education away from any and all things God related. We wanted to offer our children a God centered education and knew that it would be impossible to do outside of our home. It is easy to see why I was interested in reviewing the documentary IndoctriNation, a film that takes a closer look into the makeup of public schools and shares the challenges that Christian students, teachers, and administrators face on a day to day basis, as they struggle to maintain their beliefs and value system in an anti-Christian system.

indoctrination movie product review

Product Overview

IndoctriNation DVD ReviewIndoctriNation is a highly controversial documentary from Great Commission Films taking a closer look at public schools and the decline of Christianity in America. As the DVD jacket explains, "featuring interviews with whistleblower teachers, administrators, students, parents and others, this film is part documentary, part testimonial, and totally captivating." The DVD follows a homeschool father of seven who decides to take a field trip with his family across America in a big remade yellow school bus to seek out answers to questions like "Are my kids physically and morally safe in the schools?", "Are the public schools religiously neutral?", "Can the public school system be fixed or redeemed?" and many more!

This movie is geared towards any Christian family with children in the public school system who desires to take a hard look at the true state of public education: the good, the bad and the ugly. It is not recommended for young children due to some of the content discussed.

I received a copy of the physical DVD to review.

How Did I Use This Product?

Though I really wanted to watch this film with my husband, it didn't work out, so one night I just sat down and turned it on. I also opened up a WORD document so that I could take notes of what was being said (especially quotes).

The DVD is just like any other DVD, so easy to use. There is the availability of watching it in Spanish as well as English. There are a few Extra features including deleted scenes, words from the sponsors and a special interview not included in the film itself.

What Are My Thoughts on This Product?

"I know that when parents send their children to school they are wanting the very best for them too." I really like the way that this statement was made at the beginning of the movie. All too often there is an assumed judgement made by parents of public schooled children that homeschoolers must think that they (the public school parents) don't care about their children and that's why they don't homeschool. I appreciated that Colin Gunn began his documentary with these words.

I liked the way the documentary was put together. I liked the glimpses of the Gunn family on their travels and all the LIVE interviews. I loved the extensive dedication to examining the history of school and the education system in America. I think there was a lot of factual evidence provided that can easily be researched by anyone watching.

I appreciated the variety of the interviews--especially from people who were part of the educational system for years, who made the choice to resign and leave it because of what they were seeing happen. This was very relevant to me. I liked the discussion with Christian teachers and administrators about what it's like to be a Christian in the educational system and the battles they face every day whether in the classroom in general, or dealing with the curriculum they are given. It is eye opening to hear firsthand from teachers the kind of things they are instructed to teach our children by mandated curriculum.

I agreed with almost everything that was being said, because I have researched, experienced or witnessed for myself what they were saying. I didn't really learn anything new--just had confirmation of what I had long suspected and evidence that it was even worse than I thought.

For instance, I always knew that there was a big issue with incoming college freshman and the fact that most were not up to the standards or levels needed for entrance. What I didn't realize was that the number was so high. According to the college professor/administrator they spoke with, it's up to 70% needing to take remedial level classes. I liked how the teachers talked about how it used to be that you could walk down the halls and see evidences of written reports, essays, and poems...but now all you see are pictures and art projects. That we have shifted AWAY from expressing yourself via reading and writing--so crucial to success outside of the school.

A few quotes that really stood out for me:

"Schooling is bad. Not education."~ John Gatto (former NYC teacher of the year) when discussing the problem with the way schooling is done.

"[they are] stealing our children, but because they are leaving the body of the child with us, we don’t even know it’s happening.“ Dr. Lutzer discussing the way that public school indoctrination is working

"At the end of the day a child gets to make up his own mind...[but] the outcome has already been determined by the curriculum; it undercuts the parents, the church and the absolutes of the Bible.” ~Talking about the problem with Christian children trying to make it in public schools

"Is there anything more radical than turning your children over to total strangers who you know nothing about and having those strangers work on your child's mind for a period of 12 years? Could there be a more radical idea than that? If you had proposed that in Colonial America they would have burned you at the stake." ~ John Gatto on the ridiculousness of the present method of schooling

I think the undercurrent message of the documentary was--if you are truly desiring your child to be able to hold fast to his or her Christian values, you have to be the loudest voice your child hears. And in the present school system today, that is not possible unless you remove your child from public school and choose another option. It was definitely a wake-up call for all Christian parents to check in with your children and their school and REALLY see what they are learning and experiencing five days a week for 12 years of their life. That everything you hold dear in relation to your Christian values is being destroyed openly and if you speak up--or if your child speaks up...you will be breaking the law. But if a child or teacher would speak out FOR things that are CONTRARY to the Bible or God and Christianity in general, they would be lauded and praised and protected and allowed to continue to speak as much and as loud as they want.

What did I not like?
Well it's not necessarily that I didn't like it, but this movie was definitely pro-homeschool and you get that from the very start. I think that just reading the DVD synopsis, you would think there was more a call for public school reform of sorts rather than just a push for complete abandonment and exodus of public schools. But then again, that might be what was intended--to show that there isn't any hope for the public schools, so "get out while you still can" theory is encouraged for any Christian family.

Would I Recommend This Product?

Yes--with reservations.
Here are my reservations--if you are a not a fan of the idea of homeschooling, don't watch it. You won't like it. If you are practicing Christian public school teacher and love your job and everything that goes with it, don't watch it you won't like it. If you are not willing to accept that public school could be the wrong decision for your Christian family--don't watch it. If you don't like hearing about how the government owns the schools and that they were designed in their present state to help make more pliable factory workers, don't watch it. If you have no interest at all in making any changes to your present school situation because it is working for you and you believe that there is nothing wrong, don't bother watching it.

But...if you are at a point where you are making the decision whether or not to homeschool your children--watch it! If you are trying to figure out why your children are struggling in school, watch it. If you are a Christian teacher or administrator thinking that you are going to be able to keep doing your job and somehow lead others to Christ by being "salt or light"--watch it. If you think you are doing your child a favor by sending them in their young budding faith into the public school system, convinced they will be able to influence others for good--watch it.

Another group I would recommend it to--anyone having issues within their family where they do not have the support for your homeschooling decision with constant pushing for public school. This would be a great movie for "family movie night" to maybe open some eyes on what school is like today.

I had been thinking about getting this DVD for awhile, since I first saw it advertised in homeschooling catalogs and magazines--I am glad that I was able to get to experience it and already have a few friends in mind that I want to send it to!

Want to Learn More?

I reviewed IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films along with 99 of my fellow TOS review crew members. You know what I think, but what did some of the other families think about this hot topic DVD?
IndoctriNation DVD Review
To learn more about Great Commission Films: IndoctriNation, keep in touch with them on these social media outlets:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IndoctriNationMovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/indocmovie
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/indoctrination
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/IndoctriNationMovie

Crew Disclaimer
This movie was very eye opening and I think that I will still try to get my husband to watch it. I have a few friends who are on the saddle about public school vs. homeschool with children getting ready to start Kindergarten. This video would be very helpful for them and I hope to get a copy into their hands.

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