Corey said that the antipathy between you two started when you threw a tennis ball “with great accuracy” at “a place no man should get hit.” What happened? ^ My friends and family would be shocked to think I could throw anything “with great accuracy”! In fact, I was more shocked than anyone else when the ball landed where it did. However, people on the youth commission had been making a game of throwing towards sensitive areas all that fateful day, so somebody was eventually going to get it.

What do you think is the real source of the major league bad vibes between you and Corey? ^ We were two adolescents battling to have our own way. For me, at least, the dislike toward him came from the fear that his controlling nature would derail the efforts for comprehensive sex ed. I wanted nothing more than to change the curriculum; I didn’t really care if the city council liked me. I left it to him to be their pet while I tried to work for the teens of Lubbock.

Corey Nichols paints a none-too-flattering picture of your performance on the Lubbock Youth Council. For example, he describes you as someone who would “throw a fit” and cry when things didn’t go your way, that he removed you as parliamentarian for not doing your job, and that people threatened to quit the council because of the difficulties you created. How would you characterize your performance and your working relationship with Corey? ^ The youth commission was made up of thirty-six students and almost all of them went to Corey’s high school. Corey does have a very strong personality, and it often seemed to me as if they picked up on his dislike of me and acted on it. For instance, it’s true that I could not do my job as parliamentarian, but it was because they seemed to follow his example of ignoring and shunning me. However, it seems so petty to still be talking about all this stuff now. Thankfully, we have all changed since high school!

For my own part, in watching myself in the film and remembering my own actions, I have tried to learn from experience and modify my reactions to be more socially acceptable, but I’ll never apologize for the passion that drove me to fight with such fervor.

You’ve just finished your sophomore year at University of Texas at Austin, how are things going? ^ I absolutely love college life…and being out of Lubbock.

I split my free time during my first year of college between outreach around the film and a lot of activist work on issues like sex ed, gay rights, and a woman’s right to choose abortion. As the subject of The Education of Shelby Knox, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with teens and other people all over the country and it’s been great. Everywhere I go I find teens that are engaged in politics, and that we are not an apathetic generation.

I asked Corey, so I’ll ask you: Any thoughts on the Gerardo Flores case? (Flores was recently sentenced to life in prison for the killing of his girlfriends’ twin fetuses.) ^ What Gerardo Flores and his girlfriend did were the actions of two teens with nowhere to turn — without the sex education and resources to know what to do when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. It’s sad that the fact they were denied information about sex and reproduction – and the opportunity to talk about it with anyone — caused such a terrible tragedy.

When I asked Corey to address you directly, he wished you well. But he added that, if things went badly for you, he wouldn’t “lose sleep over it.” He also made a remark about the respective football fortunes of the University of Texas and Texas A&M. So, if Corey chooses to read this (and he probably will), what would you like to say to him? ^ Corey, I hope that you have a wonderful life and are happy in whatever you choose to do. I hope that my tennis ball left no lasting damage and God blesses you with a beautiful family. I also hope that you can relinquish any lingering animosity from your high school years; I think you’ll be happier that way.

As for football, my Longhorns have beaten his Aggies for the past five years. In fact, we no longer really consider them a worthy rival. That’s exactly how I feel about Corey!

See what Corey had to say>>>

Posted on June 22, 2005 in Interviews by

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