But some parents say the money isn't worth it. They say the practice is irresponsible and gambling with students' health without conclusive evidence that towers are safe.
More than 262 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. depend on 120,000 towers to route their calls to the appropriate destination. In residential areas, schools are seen as prime locations for towers. They offer a large tract of land in an area that otherwise has smaller tracts and residential uses.
The debate over school-based towers is happening throughout the United States. In September, an Oregon district banned them on school grounds. Los Angeles Unified School District took a similar step in 2000.
Dr. Robert Zieve, an Integrative Medicine Physician, Director of Pine Tree Clinic for Comprehensive Medicine in Prescott, Arizona, and the author of Healthy Medicine, has provided this guest commentary: The article is a sad commentary on our economy and local communities.
Because schools are so poorly funded and desperate for money, they are now resorting to hiding cell phone towers on their premises. Almost everyone is familiar with the potential health peril of proximity to cell phone towers. Already, our children use cell phones for hours each day. Adding a proximity to radiation from towers can only increase those risks.
Parents and administrators often feel compelled to get more money for the school for their children’s education. Yet the same individuals may not be entirely aware of the significant risks these towers may pose to their children’s health.
And schools are not alone. Churches and hospitals are doing the same thing: permitting cell phone towers to be placed on their facilities in order to maintain enough financial “health” to remain operational. These public institutions are competing with each other for scarce funds, and therefore perhaps have turned a blind eye to the potential harmfulness of these towers.
Why are Schools Negotiating With Cell Phone Companies?
Many schools have found their ability to afford supplies on conventional budgets to be overly limited. They therefore have felt forced to make nontraditional deals to supplement their funds. In the case of deals with cell phone companies, schools under extreme financial pressure may have made such deals without completely evaluating the health risks to children.
Wireless technologies are already prevalent in children's homes, meaning continuous exposure during sleep time. Cell phone towers at school during the day add to potential risk.
A Dangerout Ignorance
Parents of school children have a lot to deal with. Already some parents are up from 7 in the morning to 1 AM at night every school day, just to manage their kids’ needs. Many parents of them do not feel the luxury of researching every potential health consequence befalling their children. But this potential peril is particularly troubling.
If not now, when?
Parents may not see the actual consequences that may ensure from this sort of problem until after many years down the road. It is therefore all the more important that they come together now to question the potential harmfulness of these school towers to the health of their children, and to determine whether there are other less perilous ways of supplementing school budgets.
It’s Time to Work Together
We must work together to find another way, not only in this area of the current microwaving of everyone's brains, but in health, food, sick buildings, and on the economy. We must create healthy communities with healthy businesses and governing bodies from the ground up, in which people inform each other and join together to make healthy decisions.