Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association & Wi-Fi in the Workplace

February 2012.  The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association is one of the first teachers’ associations to come out opposed to Wi-Fi in the classroom.  Kevin O’Dwyer, OECTA President, says there is enough evidence to bring concerns and raise questions about Wi-Fi use.  I couldn’t agree more.

Unfortunately, Andre Picard—of the Globe and Mail—tried to make it sound as thought asking for safe work conditions is the same a fear mongering.

He writes:  “By one estimate [Picard obviously didn’t do his homework to find out who made this statement and whether or not it was a credible source based on real data], a year’s worth of exposure to Wi-Fi is the equivalent of talking 20 minutes on a cellphone.”

He should have checked his facts.  This statement is absolutely ludicrous!

Teachers in Ontario have been measuring radiation in classrooms with Wi-Fi and finding that levels are as high as being a 100 meters from a cell tower and inches from a cell phone!

In one school, measured by a qualified technician, exposure levels exceeded Health Canada’s Safety Code 6!  Health Canada’s response was that we’re not concerned because that safety code has built in safety factor!  So why bother having guidelines at all?

If our safety code is so “safe” why do countries in Europe have guidelines that are 100 times more protective?

The response of the OECTA is a refreshing break from what is happening in the public school system.  Teachers are forbidden to share their concerns publicly about Wi-Fi.  Is this a democracy or a totalitarian state?  Is this what schools boards are teaching their students as well.  I certainly hope not!

For those who want to read the excellent document prepared by the OECTA on Wi-Fi in the workplace click here.  Let’s hope that other schools and teachers’ associations will follow their lead.