NEW YORK – A group of Connecticut second graders was bused to New York last week for a well-publicized protest to save the rainforest. And the field trip has some up in arms.
The kids wielded posters they made in school as part of a contest sponsored by an environmental group called the Rainforest Action Network.
"Today we have rainforest heroes, kids the earth can count on are here today to visit J.P. Morgan Chase (search), the world's second largest bank, to ask them to save the rainforest," said Michael Brune (search), executive director of the network.
"I celebrate the world, I celebrate the rainforest, and I care [about] the reality of what is happening with my students, which is only fair, and I let them make their own choices," said teacher Paula Healey.
The Rainforest Action Network's Web site features a classroom program with tips on how to raise money and further RAN's cause.
But when 6 and 7-year-olds stage a demonstration, questions arise as to who is behind the event and whether the children are being manipulated and exploited to serve someone else's agenda.
The irony of using a bus to transport kids to a rally against oil drilling and holding paper signs to protest logging isn't lost on critics who say RAN's propaganda has no place in elementary school.
"I think these kids need to learn how to read, write and do 'rithmetic and think. I think first and second grade is way too young to be brainwashed with any sort of political agenda," said Steve Milloy of CSR Watch, a watchdog group for corporate social responsibility.
Click in the video box above to see the complete report by FOX News' Rick Leventhal.