"The Story of Stuff," a 20-minute video about the effects of human consumption, has become a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation, reports the New York Times — but it also has sparked controversy. The video is a cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste, and it has been embraced by teachers eager to supplement textbooks that lag behind scientific findings on climate change and pollution. So far, six million people have viewed the film at its site, storyofstuff.com, and millions more have seen it on YouTube. More than 7,000 schools, churches, and others have ordered a DVD version, and hundreds of teachers have written to the video’s creator, former Greenpeace employee Annie Leonard, to say they’ve assigned students to view it online. It’s also won support from independent groups that advise teachers on curriculum choices. But the enthusiasm is not universal. In January, a school board in Missoula County, Mont., decided that screening the video treaded on academic freedom after a parent complained that its message was anti-capitalist…

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