Baltimore County auditors are pressing the public school system for answers on its laptop-per-student program, as well as the schools’ overall spending and other priorities for next school year — including whether parents could be given “an ‘opt-out’ alternative to digital learning environments” for their children.
Lastly, among other comments in the report, county auditors raised specific questions about possible student health issues related to higher technology use in schools.
BCPS advised that since the rollout of the digital conversion/S.T.A.T. initiative, it has not budgeted funding for technology exposure studies geared toward developing an understanding of issues ranging from maximum recommended screen time for children to amounts of radiofrequency exposure. … BCPS further advised that “numerous studies [regarding radiofrequency exposure], including work done by the World Health Organization, have concluded that there is no scientific evidence that the weak radio frequency signals emitted by wireless base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.”
However, the Baltimore Sun recently reported that doctors from Harvard and Yale medical schools attending an annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies advised that “parents should limit their children’s use of cellphones, iPads, and other wireless technology because it could cause behavioral and concentration problems.” According to the Sun, while “There is little research on the impact of the microwave radiation and radio frequency radiation emitted by wireless devices on children…the doctors said early studies provide enough evidence to suggest that parents should exercise caution.”