The documentary "IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America" recently won the Jubilee Award as the Best Documentary at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.
The producers of the movie have hopes that it will help move Christian children into K-12 Christian education and homeschooling, as many Christian leaders and pastors are giving up on conservative public school reform.
Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum, stated at the film festival that "this [film] is the tool for which we have been waiting for the last 20 years."
The film explores the origins and social impact of America's public school system and has been garnering a lot of attention for its critique of the system. It has also sparked much debate over the role of faith in government-run education.
"People are starting to wake up to the damaging effects of a government-controlled education monopoly," "IndoctriNation" Co-Director Colin Gunn said in a released statement.
He continued, "We now are facing all these problems in America – high taxation, welfare dependency, government debt – and as Christians and conservatives we have to see we can't solve those problems until we solve the public schooling problem."
Dr. John Storey, Northeast regional director for the Association of Christian Schools International, agrees that there is indoctrination taking place in public schools, but he told The Christian Post that he isn't exactly sold on critiquing public schools to make Christian schools look better.
You "don't build something up by scaring people away from something else," he commented. Instead, Storey said, it should be about highlighting the merits of Christ-centered education, because "generally Christians don't pay attention to education."
There is an increasing trend in the quality of Christian education though, he noted. And if people are going to change their minds about sending their children to a Christian school, this should be highlighted.
But the declining spiritual nature in society and an economic downturn has hurt Christian school enrollment, he lamented. Christian schools were growing through the 1990s, but after 2000, smaller schools have been forced to shut down.
Still, there is an increasing trend for Christian schools to be fully accredited, he added, and a decreasing trend of public schools to be accredited. Christian schools are also offering more AP courses, and dual enrollment.
Most Christian educators want people to recognize that they have other options for their children's education – whether that is through a documentary or through websites like DiscoverChristianSchools.org, which gives parents resources and information on Christian schools in their area.
The Christian Academy is affiliated with the website and headmaster Dr. Timothy Sierer told The Christian Post that many parents are starting to realize the responsibility they have in choosing their child's education. He said they can't "just assume the public school is going to do the best job for our students based on [a Christian] worldview.
Aside from Christian schools, there is a growing number of options out there from scholarships to online homeschooling resources that parents can choose from in providing for their child's education, he said.
"IndoctriNation" has garnered support from Christian ministries and influential leaders across the U.S. Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, says, "Every Christian parent with a child in a government school should see this."