Could environmental education be crossing into environmental indoctrination? Some critics say yes, as schools boast that such curricula simply is teaching children ways of caring for the earth.
Being a “good” student at Western Avenue Elementary School in Flossmoor, Ill., means more than just doing reading, writing and arithmetic well. It also means trying to save the planet.
“It’s really important to help the earth and save the polar bears,” 9-year-old Duree Everett said, as she colored a “go green” sign at her desk.
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The students are taking part in what’s called “National Green Week,” organized by the Green Education Foundation. Schools across the country are encouraged to teach children about recycling, global warming and carbon footprints.
“It’s important to start creating habits now, while children are young, because it can add up over a lifetime to make huge monumental consequences to the environment,” said Victoria Waters, president of the Green Education Foundation.
Children as young as 5 years old are told to avoid plastic water bottles, carry lunches in reusable containers, to conserve water and reduce their trash, both at school and at home. They’re also taught that planet earth is in trouble and animals’ lives could be in danger.