After watching a short film produced by Witness, an organisation that promotes youth activists, about the Earth Guardians, a teacher from Evergreen Middle School near Denver, Colorado, invited 13-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and his nine-year-old brother Itzcuauhtl to hold a presentation explaining their cause.
Earth Guardians is an organisation for young people that want “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.
Earth Guardians provide youth with the knowledge, tools, and leadership qualities needed to envision and shape a healthy planet, one that we can all be proud to pass on to our next generations.”
The teacher had thought that such a presentation given by children would prove inspirational to her own students. Little did she know of the backlash that would occur, nor that the incident would lead to pressure for her resignation, along with the resignation of the school Principal.
The school has apologised for what some are calling “liberal indoctrination,” as the brothers explained the peril that the environment is in from the fossil fuel industry, including fracking companies, whose chemicals can pollute the air, and water supplies.
To try and calm the angry protests, ABC 7 News reported that, “the district plans to distribute pro-oil and gas literature to parents so they have information from the other side.” The hope is that by giving information from both sides of the debate the parents will be happier that their children can then make informed decisions.
What begin as a simple presentation on saving the environment from a couple of children has turned into a national story, and led to members of the Earth Guardians receiving threats, insults, hateful comments, and constant harassment.
Jacob Devaney wrote on the Huffington Post: “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…”
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…