Saturday, June 25, 2016

National PTA Executive Director Removes Safe Technology Advocacy Organization From PTA Convention

The National PTA has banned an Oregon based health non- profit Wireless Education Action from exhibiting at the 2016 Annual National PTA Convention.


National PTA Executive Director Nathan Monell wrote that:

“The National PTA hereby revokes Wireless Education Action as an exhibitor at the Convention. Neither the Wireless Education Action nor any of its members, representatives, and, or agents, including yourself, shall be allowed to exhibit, attend, or in any other way participate in the convention.”



Without a vote from the voting body of the National PTA,  the Executive Director issued a statement that- advocacy to protect children from the health risks of wireless radiation is not in accordance with the Mission of the National PTA.


In his June 20th letter, Monell also states that:
"The National PTA has determined that Wireless Education Action's positions that wireless classrooms are a danger to children, that the government is covering it up, that schools are microwave radiating children without real safety standards,  and that wireless systems should be banned from schools and other locations where children are exposed to them, are not consistent with National PTA's mission, position statements, resolutions or policies."  


Monell cited the “National PTA’s Rules and Regulations” which state that “any organization whose products, services or materials are not consistent with the national PTA's mission, position statements, resolutions or policies will not be permitted to exhibit” as the reason for banning WEA from exhibiting.


As far as we know, the PTA voting body never voted on this issue, nor has the voting body ever been presented with the issue

In fact, the National PTA Bylaws state that the PTA’s purpose is “To advocate for laws that further the education, physical and mental health, welfare, and safety of children and youth”

Why no vote on this issue?
Were Bylaws bypassed by issuing such a statement with no vote and no discussion?





The June 20, 2016 Position Statement is in contradiction to prior National PTA resolutions.
The National PTA’s 2007 Resolution on Internet and Wireless Communication resolves to “promote responsible and ethical use of the Internet and wireless and other electronic resources” and “to inform and educate students, parents, educators, and communities on the dangers associated with the Internet and wireless” and states:

“That National PTA and its constituent organizations will work to advocate for appropriate laws, policies, and regulations to ensure the safety of children and youth when using the Internet and wireless and other electronic communications.”  Read it here.

Other exhibitors at the PTA Convention include AT andT, Microsoft, Lifelock "powered by Verizon” and Chuck E. Cheese's
Are their positions in accordance with the National PTA’s mission?

Both AT&T and Microsoft companies warn their shareholders about litigation from long term exposure to electromagnetic fields. AT&T states in its 10K Report:
As we deploy newer technologies, especially in the wireless area, we also face current and potential litigation relating to alleged adverse health effects on customers or employees…Read it here.


Verizon warns it’s shareholders in its 10 K Annual Report that:
...our wireless business also faces personal injury and consumer class action lawsuits relating to alleged health effects of wireless phones or radio frequency transmitters...We may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. In addition, we may be required to pay significant awards or settlements.Read it here.


Chuck E Cheese's total revenues for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 increased 3.3%, or $8.8 million, over the prior year to $274.3 million.  Read it here.  Note: The PTA Bylaws state that,”The association shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan.” Then why is the PTA promoting Lifelock and other commercial ventures?



Wireless Education Action had signed up to exhibit MONTHS in advance and had fully informed the National PTA of their issue.


Although Jennifer Bradley, National PTA | Corporate Alliances Specialist, was informed in detail  as to the educational information to be provided at the conference months ago the letter ends with a refund:
“Enclosed please find a refund check for your exhibitor registration.”


Did the Executive Director of the PTA follow proper Rules and Regulations?
This new position statement comes as a surprise to many local PTAs who were not aware of this determination. Was proper procedure followed? Should the PTA representatives from the State's first voted on this issue?


Q: When did the National PTA do due diligence with this issue?
A: No one knows.


PTA’s and teacher unions are working to reduce radio frequency exposures in schools and promote safe classroom environments.
Many PTAs have worked hard to keep cell towers off their children’s school grounds. Many PTAs have also grappled with the issue of wireless radiation and called for safe technology- meaning hardwired computers rather than wireless computers. For example:
  • Wrote a letter to the Onteora School District calling for the Wi-Fi to be turned off. See it here.
New York State Teachers Union

Los Angeles California Public School District
  • Uses a RF-EMF Exposure Threshold 10,000 Less Than the FCC Limits: Read it here.  
  • Passed a Resolution Banning Cell Towers from schools and recommending against WiFi. Read it here.
In fact, PTA’s have a long history of calling for safe technology.
“RESOLVED that the California PTA supports encouraging schools to use cable lines for all communications services on campus and to avoid the endorsement, purchase or use of wireless local area network systems on campus” Fletcher Hills PTA Resolution submitted to the California State PTA



Could the PTA’s relationships with companies have influenced this statement?
The National PTA has various relationships to companies that may feel threatened by safer technology choices. These companies are making money off their relationship with the PTA.


eTrack

“eTrak, Powered by Verizon, is now a National PTA Member Benefits Provider. eTrak is a safety product that allows parents to know the whereabouts of their children and receive an instant message if they wander “off track” or need help. Utilizing+ technology, parents can instantly see their child’s exact location on a map from a smartphone or any computer.Read the Press release by the PTA.





Lifelock
Lifelock Inc is a PTA sponsor and sells Smartphone products to make technology “safer”. “The LifeLock mobile app helps consumers manage their identity and payment cards on the go and enables LifeLock members to receive alerts and services on their digital device,” according to the PTA press release which states that, “It is a high priority of National PTA to increase understanding of the implications of online interactions. We are pleased to partner with LifeLock to engage students, families, educators and communities and foster safe, effective use of the Internet and mobile devices.” Read the press release here.


Lifelock seems to encourage devices for children stating that “Every kid wants a smartphone. And a tablet. And all the other popular technical devices, “ neglecting to state that wireless devices were never ever pre-market safety tested. Lifelock Director Roy A. Guthrie is former CEO of Discover.


TIME TO FACT CHECK
  1. Wireless is microwave radiation.
  2. There are no safety standards in the USA, just adopted guidelines based on 30 year old science. The EPA was defunded from developing actual safety standards in 1996.
  3. Over a dozen countries are recommending reducing microwave exposure to children.
  4. The National PTA passed a 2007 Resolution stating it will advocate for safe technology.

What does the American Academy of Pediatrics have to say about cell phone and wireless exposures?

After the PTA wrote this letter, several people responded by sending letters of concern to the National PTA.

“I want to call your attention to the attached slide which was presented by Dr. Lennart Hardell, the world's expert on the health effects of wireless devices, at my conference in NYC in 2013.  Note he says that an iPad does not belong in human environments if one's concern is health; they are emitting spikes of radiation 100,000 times higher than is safe.”  Read Deborah Kopald’s Letter




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