Friday, April 28, 2017

Worcester Massachuttsetts School District Drafts Warning on Wireless Devices

WORCESTER – The school district could soon warn families to take precautions against exposure to wireless Internet radiation, after a school standing committee this week approved a set of recommendations developed by the administration.
The new guidelines, which still must be approved by the full School Committee at its meeting Thursday, encourage technology users to avoid keeping cellphones, tablets and laptops close to their body, and to turn off the wireless connectivity on those devices when not using the internet.
The full list of recommendations, comprising five bullet points, will be posted to the district’s Web site and distributed to students in handouts later this school year should the committee give its OK, according to John Monfredo, vice chairman of the committee’s Teaching, Learning and Student Supports Standing Committee, which adopted the safety tips at its meeting Monday.
While health organizations have asserted extensive research into the matter has not produced any solid evidence that non-ionizing radiation given off by smartphones and Wi-Fi routers is harmful to humans, Mr. Monfredo said the school system still should make parents aware of any potential dangers.
“We don’t want, 10 years from now, to find out there was something we should have done,” he said. “We live in the 21st century. We know technology will continue to grow ... but we can’t be blind to the fact it may cause some problems.”
Hardly any school districts have officially considered electromagnetic radiation an issue, however. In the region, the Ashland schools were the first to implement recommended best practices for mobile devices, which some Worcester school officials have used as a basis to explore developing their own.

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