Christian documentary filmmaker Colin Gunn chose a yellow school bus to represent the impact of public schools on students and society in his new film, “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America.”
"The bus became a symbol for the public school system, partly because it broke down so frequently,” Gunn told The Christian Post Thursday. “Our philosophy of the public school system is it is something that can't be fixed. It is something that Christians need to walk away from."
The film follows Gunn and his family as they take a three-week road trip in a 1988 Chevy school bus to visit sites that pertain to education in America. It addresses the philosophy, history and practicality of the public education system, Gunn said, and shows a side of the system the media and schools don't show.
Gunn, a native of Scotland who now resides in Texas, says he and his wife homeschool their eight children. What he sees from studying public education in the United States is a system that neglects God in its teaching and ultimately hinders students in their relationships with Christ.
“We believe that education should be fundamentally Christian and biblical from the start,” he said. “There's no neutrality in education. It is either for Christ or against Him.”
Students from Christian families who attend public schools spend only a fraction of their time learning from a Christian perspective. As a result, Gunn said, many students turn away from the faith by the time they become adults. According to the film, 88 percent of Christian children deny their faith by graduation day.
"We see public schools as a primary factor in the decline of Christianity's influence in our culture," he said.
He also added that the goal of the film is not to cast judgment on Christian families who send their children to public schools, but simply to inform them about some of the problems with doing so.
Gunn doesn't claim to be an expert on the issue either, which is why the documentary features interviews with teachers, school administrators, parents, Christian leaders and others who help to clarify the moral, political and economic problems within the U.S. educational system.
Among those Gunn interviewed was the parent of a Columbine High School shooting victim, who has experienced how things can go terribly wrong in even the best of public schools.
John Taylor Gatto, a former New York City and New York State Teacher of the Year, is featured in the film and asks, “Is there an idea more radical in the history of the human race than turning your children over to total strangers who you know nothing about, and having those strangers work on your child's mind?”
Gunn has been working as a filmmaker since 2003, and “IndoctriNation” is his first feature-length documentary.
On the Web: indoctrinationmovie.com