MACON CO., Ala. (WRBL) – An inspiring story out of east Alabama as a documentary entitled Love Goes Public featuring the transformative actions of a local Macon County Principal is taking the country by storm.
Plans are already in the works to create a major motion picture highlighting Principal Brelinda Sullen’s work with students at Booker T. Washington and Notasulga High School.
Principal Brelinda Sullen walks the walk, and she talks the talk.
In Love Goes Public, Sullen’s extraordinary work within the Macon County School system rooted in her faith is helping transform failing schools.
“This is a story bigger than our area. At a time when so much of our country is determined to take God out of every institution, they can, here is a woman who is unabashedly bringing Him in with her. It’s made a radical difference in the lives of kids for the better. Graduation rates are shooting up, and pregnancy rates are shooting down, so it’s a powerful story,” shared the film’s producer, Kevin Flanagan.
Flannagan says with dwindling budgets and little state support, Sullen used what she had her love for Jesus and her very own tragedy to triumph story to right kids off a dead-end path.
“The main message is no matter who you are or what you do this morning, going into work, school, or to play and hang out – you are to be the salt and light. You are supposed to influence those around you with good words, actions, and the way you treat others. You are supposed to be good and positive and speak what God is in our lives to others,” said Flannagan.
Love Goes Public has a private screening Tuesday at AMC Tiger 13. For more information on how you can see the documentary you can visit the film’s website: Love Goes Public
LOVE GOES PUBLIC is the true story of an unlikely principal’s contagious courage and outspoken faith that transformed the failing schools of Alabama’s “Black Belt.”
Ten years ago, Brelinda Sullen was asked to rescue a public high school on the brink of chaos. Dropout rates skyrocketing. Crime in the hallways. Drugs and teenage pregnancy creating a dead-end for student’s dreams. Faculty and staff couldn’t keep up with the challenges.
With no experience, dwindling financial resources, and little state support, Principal Sullen turned to the two strengths she knew best: her deep faith in Jesus and her tragedy-to-triumph life story.
Mrs. Sullen and her eighteen siblings grew up in poverty in rural South Georgia. She became an All-American college athlete, mother, wife, and passionate advocate to see others like her turn their tragedies into triumphs.
“God is the key to our story,” she says.
The story of Booker T Washington High School and Notasulga High School is the story of faithfulness — by Principal Sullen and by thousands of students. Year by year, the once dire statistics turned from glimpses of hope and then into head-shaking testimonials of the impossible. With dropout rates at 40% and teen pregnancy way above state averages, in three short years, the graduation rate hit 100% with zero new teen pregnancies.
“Love is what love does,” is a motto that defines Mrs. Sullen’s unwavering dedication to “her babies,” as she calls her students. Where some question her bold moves and brash leadership style, the results are indisputable: her public faith has turned around a school, a community, and the once improbable dreams of students.
Filmed by an award-winning director of photography, Oscar-winning producer, and an executive producer with 38 years working side-by-side with students, volunteers, and communities, LOVE GOES PUBLIC is an inspiring American story of what happens when a person’s passionate faith meets a community’s desperate need.
LOVE GOES PUBLIC