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Shelby Knox
  • Shelby Knox

Durham
The Education of Shelby Knox
Griffith Film Theater, Duke Campus—In the heart of the Bible Belt, a student named Shelby Knox noticed a disconnect between the shrill rhetoric of her high school's abstinence-only sex education program and the reality of pregnant classmates. Though she was passionately religious, having signed a pledge to remain chaste until marriage, she decided to use her position on the Lubbock Youth Commission to agitate for comprehensive sex ed, to the consternation of her parents, her pastor and much of the community.

The film documenting Knox's crusade energized crowds at 2005's Full Frame festival in Durham, winning an audience award. Knox graduated from the University of Texas in 2007 and is now a poised young activist, living in New York and continuing to work for high-quality sex education in schools. Last April, she spoke before the U.S. Senate at a hearing, pointing out that not a single federal dollar has been spent on comprehensive, fact-based sex ed, despite its proven superiority over abstinence-only education—which has received more than a billion dollars in funding—in helping young people abstain from sex. It's exactly this sort of pragmatic, post-partisan thinking that many of us voted for in the last election.

The free screening, at 8 p.m., is part of Duke Screen/Society's Full Frame Archive Documentary Series; see fvd.aas.duke.edu/screensociety for more information. —Marc Maximov

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