School boards gagging dissent over WiFi, Peterborough
June 6, 2011. We don’t tolerate bullying in the schoolyard so why do we tolerate it in the school board? Teachers who are questioning the roll out of WiFi in schools across Ontario, those who are electrically sensitive and worry about what effect this will have on their health, and those who are concerned about the effect it may have on their students are being silenced.
Principals have told several teachers that they are not to mention or to participate in any action that questions the Board’s decision about WiFi. Messages posted on bulletin boards in the school have been removed. Teachers have been reprimanded and threatened.
Parents are being silenced. Schools refuse to inform parents about when WiFi will be activated in their children’s school. Parents are forbidden to take their own measurements in schools that currently have WiFi or are scheduled for WiFi. They are unable to send flyers home to other parents to ask if parents agree with the Board’s decisions about WiFi in the classroom.
Even without the May 31st 2011 announcement by the World Health Organization that radio frequency radiation (the type of radiation generated by WiFi) may cause cancer, this type of behavior of school boards is totally unacceptable.
When did schools get the right to expose children to potential carcinogens without the consent of their parent? When did schools get the right to threaten teachers who question their policies? When did we develop such an intolerant system that is more common in fascist regimes than in democratic societies?
Unfortunately those who are making decisions are ignorant of the technology and ignorant of the science that documents the adverse effects of radio frequency radiation generated by wireless routers. Back in the late 1980s we were concerned about the lack of science literacy among our students. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the consequences when those in positions of authority do not understand the science upon which their decisions are based, decisions that affect the lives of so many.
This ignorance coupled with bullying is unacceptable and urgently needs to be addressed.
The same day the above letter appeared in the Peterborough Examiner (Jun 6, 2011), I received an email from Diane Lloyd, Chairperson, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, denying me the right to speak at a public meeting scheduled for June 27th in Peterborough at Queen Mary Public School. The board is allowing those who have the same view as the school board to speak but not those who have dissenting views and who believe that the microwave radiation generated by WiFi is harmful to students and their teachers. They are allowing other professors from Trent University to speak as well as the Medical Officer of Health, who has often voiced her lack of concern about this radiation in the classroom. Ms Lloyd writes, “This meeting is being held to outline what our technology plan is and to respond to those questions . . . it is not a debate.”
What is so unfortunate is that many of the schools already have wired internet access and Peterborough has fiber optics in the community, yet the school board is “dead set” on installing WiFi irrespective of how the radiation may affect students and staff! Introducing WiFi into schools that already have wired connections is a waste of money that could be better spent. But much more important than this is the unnecessary exposure of students and staff to microwave radiation. Only time will tell how this radiation will affect their health, their behavior, their ability to learn, and their ability to reproduce.