Sunday, March 18, 2018

Montgomery County Public Schools REFUSES to Support legislation that would develop Safety Guidelines for Digital Devices in Schools!

This Letter from Montgomery County Public Schools states that the County  REFUSES to Support legislation that would develop Safety Guidelines for Digital Devices in Schools!   Please share this far and wide and contact your Board of Education members and  tell them this is unacceptable. 

HB1110:  "Public Schools - Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures - Digital Devices" directs the Maryland State Department of Education, consulting with the Maryland Department of Health to convene a group of medical experts and stakeholders to develop health and safety guidelines for the schools' technology equipment. 

Montgomery County School takes a "no position" position???
Contact the Montgomery County BOE and the press and demand children's safety be put first! before the needs of the devices. 

There is no reason we cannot integrate digital devices into schools in a safe way. This statement by the county is outrageous. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics Letter in Support of Medical Health and Safety Guidelines for Screens in Schools. Download image  HERE. Download PDF HERE
However Montgomery County Schools does not ?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Maryland Bill Proposed: Health and Safety Guidelines for Digital Devices"

Press Release
February 22, 2018

HB1110:  "Public Schools - Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures - Digital Devices" directs the Maryland State Department of Education, consulting with the Maryland Department of Health to convene a group of medical experts and stakeholders to develop health and safety guidelines for the schools' technology equipment.

Sponsored by Delegate Steven Arentz (R-District 36, Eastern Shore) and 32 co-sponsors - representing statewide bipartisan support - the legislation is in response to the mounting scientific data that underscores the need to protect children from visual, physical and mental health risks posed by the unsafe use of classroom devices.

Delegate Arentz reports, "The research just continues to mount - our kids need to be protected, while they learn how to compete in the world today."

The University of Southern California's Roski Eye Institute has identified the use of screens as a factor contributing to the epidemic myopia now seen among children in the United States. Says lead researcher, Dr. Rohit Varma, "the use of mobile devices and screens on a daily basis, combined with a lack of proper lighting or sunlight, may be the real culprit behind these dramatic increases." Extreme myopia can lead to serious complications later in life, including glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and macular degeneration -- all potentially blinding conditions.

Clinicians are also concerned about dry eye disease, since children do not blink often enough when using screens, in addition to "eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision and headaches." Making matters worse, the research shows that because children don't realize anything's wrong, they don't report or mitigate their own discomfort.

Researchers are also concerned about the effects of sleeplessness caused by the use of digital devices, including computers used for homework at night.  The HEV blue light emitted from digital devices suppresses an important hormone called melatonin, which tells the brain it's time to rest.

Without melatonin, kids can't sleep, and, according to the National Sleep Foundation, become agitated and anxious. Their research reports that "adults usually become sluggish when tired while children tend to overcompensate and speed up. For this reason, sleep deprivation is sometimes confused with ADHD in children."

The World Health Organization reports that obesity, diabetes and heart disease in children are also being associated with the increased sedentary behaviors that coincide with unsafe digital device use, noting "the increasingly urbanized and digitalized world offers fewer opportunities for physical activity through healthy play."

Addiction to technology, anxiety and suicide are also grave concerns for clinicians, and the focus of numerous studies. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the number 2 cause of death among teenagers today. And while much of those studies concentrate on personal use of computers, schools are increasingly using digital devices as their primary platform for communication, even within the classroom.

As a result of the increasing research, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Maryland Chapter and the Mental Health Association of Maryland as well as the Maryland State Medical Society, (MedChi) representing all of the state's physicians, have all endorsed the legislation, hoping that the General Assembly will heed the medical warnings.

National child advocacy groups are also endorsing HB1110, including Parents Across America and Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood (CCFC), which has more than 800 members in Maryland.

"Maryland lawmakers are leading the nation by protecting children from overuse of digital devices in the classroom. We applaud this initiative and wholeheartedly support this bill," said Josh Golin, CCFC Executive Director, whose organization has just launched the Children’s Screen Time Action Network. The Network will host the first national conference on children’s screen time issues in Boston on April 20-21.

Concerned parents across the state are hopeful that legislators will pass the bill and ensure that their children are using the schools' equipment safely. The legislation has the support of Advocates for Baltimore County Schools and the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County.

Queen Anne's County parent Cindy Eckard, who has spearheaded this effort, has compiled scientific studies and safety warnings from digital device manufacturers on her website, and @screensandkids Twitter account to help educate policy makers, legislators and the public.

"While the debate over the personal use of screens will likely continue as a parenting issue, it is the legal responsibility of the schools and the individual teachers to avoid known hazards and provide a safe classroom. Educational applications pose the same risk to our children's developing eyes and growing bodies as any other content," she says.

"The medical evidence cannot be ignored: our children will be damaged without protections in the classroom."

The hearing for HB1110 is scheduled in the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday, March 2 at 1:00. For more information, contact Delegate Arentz's office at or Cindy Eckard:

Dear Theodora,
Maryland lawmakers are considering groundbreaking legislation to protect children from the known health risks of digital devices used in schools. Please sign our petition in support of this bill.
Sign the petition
House Bill 1110 would require the Maryland Department of Education to develop health and safety guidelines and procedures for the use of digital devices in public school classrooms, in consultation with the Maryland Department of Health and an advisory panel of groups including CCFC, the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Maryland State Medical Society, Parents Across America, the Maryland PTA, and other education and health advocacy groups.
A growing body of research demonstrates that excessive screen time is linked to negative outcomes for children, including attention and hyperactivity disorders and social-emotional problems; sleep disturbances and irregular sleep patterns in children under 12; and vision problems, including myopia and dry eye syndrome. And pediatricians and mental health professionals are increasingly concerned about digital addiction among children. But a rush to bring digital devices into classrooms has not been accompanied by protections which take into account the impact of excessive screen time on children’s health and well-being. 
A hearing is scheduled for March 2, so children need your help now. Please sign our petition today, and ask Maryland lawmakers to develop guidelines for device use in schools that will protect children’s health.
Many thanks,
David Monahan
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

Friday, January 26, 2018

Generation Zapped Film playing at the DC Independent Film Festival - February 15th @5:30

The film Generation Zapped is playing in DC next month!

DC Independent Film Festival - February 15th @5:30

Generation Zapped is a film about wireless and children's health! 

It will be followed by a panel discussion with experts.

Full Festival Schedule:

Watch the trailer here

For more information, tips and updates, and to sign up for a screening in your community please go to:

"In less than a generation, cell phones and the Internet have revolutionized virtually every aspect of our lives, transforming how we work, socialize and communicate. But what are the health consequences of this invisible convenience?
As a mother of teenagers I am concerned with the shadow side of wireless technology on our children. I am troubled by the increased health risks and how it is sociologically impacting children’s development and behavior. As a citizen and consumer, I am disturbed by the business ethics behind the wireless revolution and its ubiquitous use in schools, at work, and at home.
I love technology and the many conveniences it has offered us, yet I believe that increased transparency is vital, including pre-market testing, post-market monitoring, and revised policies and regulations.
Finally, I invite audiences to consider the case for honoring the precautionary principle when it comes to the adoption of wireless technology – to simply slow down, turn it off at night and “plug it in” until more extensive research is validated and complete."

-- Sabine El Gemayel (Director of Generation Zapped)

For more information, tips and updates, and to sign up for a screening in your community please go to:

Get tickets now as they will sell out soon! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

“Protecting The Maryland Public From Harm By Wireless Technology” by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

“Protecting The Maryland Public From Harm By Wireless Technology”

January 13, 2018 Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. has released a document entitled “Protecting the Maryland Public from Harm by Wireless Technology.”  
Excerpts from the document include:
“Radiofrequency radiation is harmful to health. 
Why so? The levels of manmade radiofrequency radiation in our environment, including right here in Maryland, are increasing. This increase is caused by the introduction of more and more wireless devices, without an understanding of the health consequences. These consequences can manifest differently in different individuals. Examples include sleep disruption; stress, anxiety, or irritability; headaches; ringing in the ears; concentration, memory, or learning problems; fatigue; loss of balance; eye problems; heart palpitations or arrhythmia; nerve pain; cancer; and many more. 
These problems arise because all living things are bioelectrical in nature, including human beings. That is why electroencephalograms and electrocardiograms work; they measure the tiny electrical voltages that operate the brain and the heart. Unfortunately, the radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices is strong enough to disrupt many natural biological processes. That disruption can cause, or exacerbate, a host of chronic illnesses, leading even to death.”

Dr. Ronald Powell’s qualifications:
“I am a retired U.S. Government scientist (Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1975). During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For those organizations, respectively, I addressed Federal research and development program evaluation, energy policy research, and measurement development in support of the electronics and electrical-equipment industries and the biomedical research community. I currently interact with other scientists and with physicians around the world on the impact of the environment – including the radiofrequency/microwave environment – on human health.”
This document is available for download at this EHT link. This document is on the Whatis5G.infowebsite, a website that details the myriad of ways that 5G will impact humans, humanity, wildlife and the earth. 
Message for Marylanders
You can find the email addresses for all current State Delegates and State Senators on this web site, by clicking on the “Legislators” tab at the top of the web page:
You can find out which candidates have so far signed up with the Maryland State Board of Elections by referring to the web site below.  Just click on your district number.

Montgomery County Schools MEMO: Digital Safety and School and Home

Montgomery County Schools MEMO to Staff and Teachers: Digital Safety and School and Home 

This is a nationwide first! 


Information and updates from the office of the Chief Technology Officer


Digital Safety at School and at Home 

The MCCPTA Safe Technology Subcommittee would like to share the following recommendations for using technology at school and at home.

For Students at School:
  • Consider placing Chromebooks/laptops on desks and tables rather than in laps;
  • Don’t forget to shut down and log off of Chromebooks/laptops when moving from classroom to classroom;
  • Consider turning off cell phones and keeping them in backpacks or lockers off when not in use;
  • If necessary, take eye breaks, 1-to 2 minutes in length, approximately every 15 minutes;
  • Attend to task! Avoid distractions such as reading email, playing games, or browsing the Internet;
  • Engage in face-to-face socialization, especially at free time, lunch, and recess;
  • Always use the Internet and devices for educational purposes in accordance with MCPS’s responsible use policies;
  • Use resources that do not infringe on another’s copyright or trademark rights.
For Students at Home:
  • “Disconnect” at least one hour before bedtime.  This includes all forms of media and requires online-based homework to be done well in advance of bedtime;
  • Keep electronic devices out of bedrooms for a sounder sleep.

For Teachers:
  • Encourage students, when appropriate, to customize their device screens using tools such as ScreenShader designed to reduce potential eye strain and fatigue
  • Consider providing students with options for good behavior that include physical activity and social interaction rather than “device time”;
  • When requested, provide paper alternatives for take-home class work.

Additional Resources:
Congratulations MCPS! 
See resources this memo links to here as well. (