PIEDMONT -- For its first event of the season, the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee will host a showing of the 2005 documentary "The Education of Shelby Knox," about a Texas high schooler who challenged what she felt was her community's lack of well-rounded sex education.
Knox, who was raised a conservative Southern Baptist in Lubbock, vowed not to have sex until she was married but underwent a philosophical transformation after she decided the abstinence-only sex education offered in the state's high schools was failing students. She also became an ally for gay students in her school in the early 2000s.
"We get no (sex) education at all in school," Knox says during the film, according to PBS, which aired the film by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt.
"Maybe twice a week, I see a girl walking down the hall pregnant ..." Knox continued, as quoted in the PBS release. "It's part of normal life at my school. If a student asks a teacher about sex, the teacher by policy is required to answer with, 'Abstinence is the only way to prevent STDs and teen pregnancy.' If they don't, they're in danger of losing their job."
Knox went on to develop a national reputation, appearing on TV news programs talking about her work in feminism. She moved to New York City, and eventually stayed more than two years in icon Gloria Steinem's apartment.
Knox is now director of women's rights organizing at change.org,
Film committee member Julie Chang said she likes the documentary because: "It seems to be about sex education, but it's also about youth activism."
Chang said organizers will give the audience a "youth activism quiz" before the film to see if they can guess the age of people who ushered in social change in the United States and abroad. Piedmont High students taking social psychology classes are expected to attend.
"We're hoping that young people especially will come to this film and be inspired by it," Chang said.
WHAT: Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Committee's showing of "The Education of Shelby Knox"
WHEN: Wednesday -- 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. film and 8:15 p.m. discussion
WHERE: Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont
INFORMATION: Visit www.diversityfilmseries.com.