Parents bully youth over fracking presentation at Colorado middle school

Saturday, May 18, 2013 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: fracking, bullying, middle school

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(NaturalNews) Fracking has turned into an explosive topic at a Colorado school where several staff members may be forced to resign over an informational student presentation. Two young members of the environmental group Earth Guardians educated students at Evergreen Middle School about the dangers of fracking with a simple performance that included a rap song. Enraged parents labelled it "censorship" and "liberal indoctrination," sparking national media coverage of the dispute.

Youth organization stirs the pot

The now famous Earth Guardians are on a mission "... to educate and assist youth in becoming active caretakers of our precious earth, and to empower them in becoming outspoken environmental leaders, both locally and globally." An activist group established and run by children, the organization teaches through community engagement, nature programs and informational performances - like the rap song that created such a firestorm of controversy in Colorado. Apparently, a teacher at Evergreen learned of the group and felt a presentation would be inspiring for her students. It was subsequently given by 13-year-old Xiuhtezcatl and his nine-year-old brother Itzcuauhtl. Little did they know at the time, a massive wave of parental hysteria would soon follow.

According to Jacob Devaney's Huffington Post article, "Teacher and Principal Pressured to Resign Over Students' Presentation About Fracking," the harassment of the Earth Guardians has reached absurd heights:

"The threats, insults, and harassment of these youth and their friends on The Earth Guardians Facebook Fanpage have been so inappropriate that some of the kids mothers have spent the days reporting and deleting hateful comments. Unfortunately in America, we have come to expect slander and character assassination when there is no other intelligent or factual response to someone that has exposed a hidden truth. When the anger and verbal aggression of adults is directed at a group of children through an internet site, it crosses a boundary and becomes bullying. I can't think of any instance where bullying children is appropriate..."

The angry adults seem to have forgotten one small point: The dangers of fracking are very real and endangering everyone - including their own children.

Far from harmless

For anyone in doubt about the hazards of fracking, consider the reports of serious illness by those living close to the wells. People have become extremely sick and animals have died. The chemicals used in fracking operations (including benzene, arsenic, ethylene glycol, lead, formaldehyde, toluene, Uranium-238, Radium-226) are linked with autoimmune, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders along with cancer, autism, birth defects and kidney failure.

And the parents who are in an uproar about the fracking presentation see no cause for alarm? Instead, maybe they should heed the words of Devaney:

"Let's remember that our young ones are watching and we have a responsibility to be role models, support their expression and give them a voice in their future. In the case of The Earth Guardians, perhaps adults can learn a little from these kids about speaking up for the safety of our communities, the air, and the water."

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About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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