Bullied for loving the environment

May 5, 2010
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At school, I’m known as the “Green Freak”, the “Tree hugger”, the nerd, the girl who’s crazy about the environment. I’m amazingly proud of being what I am, and kind of insulted. Ever since I was little, my favorite color was green, and my favorite place, the earth. I created collages of “Green” and sketches of trees and rivers, and most of my artwork was based on the environment. I was in love with nature, I still am.
My classmates don’t really understand how much I care about the environment, the world we live in, our only home that the entire human population shares together, and really, the reason why they are here. To them, my classmates, it’s just a joke.
“Hey Kirthi” says one friend, “It’s snowing outside, is that because of Global Warming?” (chuckles). Really it is, I thought, snowing in Georgia in spring isn’t natural. The Gulf Stream Effect was weakening because of rising ocean waters, so that meant no more warm air to the coast of the North American Continent, which lead to more cold, which led to snow. I tried to explain.
“Yes, it is! It’s because the rising ocean waters causes—“
My friend walks away, ignoring. I get frustrated, how can I explain without sounding so nerdy? It’s a still unanswered, my question, and I wonder, how can people not believe in climate change, with so much evidence, shouldn’t it be blaringly obvious? The disintegrated Antarctic Ice Shelf, the extreme and bipolar weather, the late spring, the millions of pounds of CO2 in the atmosphere, the earthquake activity (earthquakes in Chile and Haiti) , it’s all so clear. I just don’t understand why people can’t see what’s right in front of them, or rather, what’s all around them!

While watching a video on Nigerian forests in Social Studies, trees are being cut. Hacked down and stacked on trucks for sale, it pained me so much, I really felt like crying. Across the room, a kid named Tyler taunted me, “They’re cutting down trees” he said, a wide, evil-looking grin across his face. At first, I just ignored it, but he got to the point of saying it every day, randomly. It annoyed me, and bothered me, and hurt.

Then along came the Axe Men conversation, the show on History that I strongly dislike (hate).
“I love Axe Men, it’s my favorite show!” said one kid.
I gasped, “How could you? How can History promote deforestation? And how can Discovery promote deforestation with American Loggers? How can—“
And then again, I’m ignored. What really bothers me is that none of my classmates have researched anything, they just repeat information from non-believers (of Climate Change) without knowing it. As my mom says “Don’t talk about what you don’t know”
I partly think it’s my Social Studies teacher’s fault, somehow I never heard her say anything to support Climate Change when we get into a class discussion, and she smartly evades my protests against environmental issues. Once, in class, I let it slip that I was a member of Greenpeace. She claimed that there were many “extreme activists groups” out there. She told this story about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), where PETA members threw paint on people wearing fur coats. She even mentioned terrorists into the discussion.
Then a classmate named Steven walked by me at lunch, “Hey Kirthi! My mom has a fur coat, will you throw paint on her?”

“I’m not a member of PETA, its Greenpeace” I replied. He smirked, “You’re a terrorist!” he laughed meanly.
I was already tired and angry and I blew up, “Just for the record, yes” I said, “I would throw paint on your mom”
Recently in Social Studies, we were discussing the oil spill, and many classmates muttered almost incomprehensibly, “Kirthi…Kirthi…environment”
A kid named Amir came up to me this morning and, with a smile on his face, said “I cut down trees! My dad and I cut down three trees in our backyard and we’re going to burn them later”.
In Art, I brought up the topic of Climate Change, “I don’t like the human race as a whole for not stopping climate change, for ignoring it, for destroying our planet”. Can you guess what I got as a reply?
“You don’t like humans?”
“Kirthi is suicidal!”
“I’m going to tell everyone that you hate humans!”
I didn’t say anything for that class period; I only silently fumed at them, how could they not understand?
What happens to our Earth will affect every single organism on it. Species are going extinct, animals suffering, and these kids at school don’t care. Instead they think that the only person that Climate Change will hurt is me. There are people out there who think that we (humans) and invisible, and those people are arrogant for not seeing the obvious, for not seeing that blaring sign right in front of them screaming “Climate Change!”
School seems a little bit more painful every day.
Now in Social Studies, whenever any environmental issues are brought up, everyone turns and smiles at me, mockingly or affectionately, I don’t know.

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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

NLoomba said...
Jun. 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Oh my god Kirthi!! You never told me about any of this!!! You know what, I support you and think that the kids at your school who say these retarded things are idiots!!! Also, you're getting seriously good at writing. I've never seen anyone make me feel this way because of their writing. Keep up the good work!!!
ashleycsy_09 said...
Jun. 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm
Wow! harsh!
Mandy said...
May 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

That is so messed up. At my school we have recycling bens in lots of the classrooms, and most of the ones who don't have one keep a bag for recycleables that they take to our recycling pile (this BIG fenced in pile of sorts of recycleables that we keep at the front of the school to be picked up by a recycling truck). We also have at least a dozen clubs dedicated to nothing but various volunteer stuff like SETA, Be The Change, Key Club, The Way, ect. I wouldn't call my school a "green freak" s... (more »)

Disneycook01 said...
May 25, 2010 at 12:19 am
Wow thats harsh! And I cannot believe your school does nothing about the kids that are tormenting you. You would think that with all the incidents in schools these days teachers would be taking a stand against bullys. Especially when  someone like yourself is so passionate about a subject that is lost on most students. Well heres my opinion ignore those ignorant kids and keep caring about the enviroment . Keep expressin your opinion about this subject because someday everyone will notice we... (more »)
Kirthi replied...
May 25, 2010 at 8:16 am
Aw, thank you all for your kind words :)
Daniela said...
May 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I can completely relate! Although I haven't faced the bullying you have regarding my environmental concerns, I constantly deal with the ignorance of my classmates. The uninformed are many, and it's sad how common the "one person can't make a difference" attitude is amongst my peers. As the commenter above said, shame on your teachers for perpetuating your classmates' behaviors.

But remember that for however many there are that don't care, there are people that care just as much as you ... (more »)

Mrs. DeRaps said...
May 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm
Shame on your teacher. Your peers sound ridiculous, but your teacher should have enough sense to not call Green Peace members "terrorists". Uggh. I hope that next school year is better for you. Maybe some of your classmates will grow up over the summer?
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