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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Parents Letter to Petaluma City School District on Wi-Fi Radiation Health Risk

Petaluma California Parents wrote a letter to the Petaluma City School District about wireless health risks. 

"That said, we are not interested in a debate about what level of RF radiation is acceptable, or to hear that it is too costly or too difficult to use iPads without wireless access. These are not solutions but rather dismissals of our children's right to a safe learning environment and a classroom free from carcinogens."

To: Superintendent Callahan and Members of the Board
Petaluma City School District
200 Douglas Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

Re: Wireless radiation within the Petaluma City School District (“PCSD”)

We are writing to you on behalf of a group of parents from your district, Petaluma Parents for Safe Technology, as well as other like minded parents and citizens of Petaluma. We all have   children attending PCSD schools in various grades, and we want to start off by expressing our appreciation and gratitude to the district and its administrators for all the hard work they do to support our children’s education.

This letter is to communicate our request to change the classrooms within PCSD for purposes of the health and safety of our children. Members of our group have previously spoken to the Superintendent, the Board, and Principal Hansell of Cherry Valley, among others, about the use of wireless access points and wireless devices (e.g. iPads and Chromebooks) in the classrooms, which we now know can be hazardous to our children's health. We want to ensure our children are not needlessly exposed to radiation from wireless devices and their infrastructure, which, as you are aware, is a class 2b carcinogen according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”).

In addition to the IARC classification of wireless radiation as a class 2b carcinogen, we also want to take this opportunity to bring to your attention a groundbreaking new study by the National Toxicology Program (“NTP”)2, a federal interagency group under the National Institutes of Health, which has definitively proven that wireless radiation causes cancer and other detrimental health effects. This study has been described by the American Cancer Society as follows:

“For years, the understanding of the potential risk of radiation from cell phones has been
hampered by a lack of good science. This report from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) is good science.”

“The NTP report linking radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to two types of cancer marks a paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk.”

Further, it is also accepted in the scientific and medical communities that this type of radiation is exponentially more harmful to children, as described by the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other highly reputable scientific and medical authorities.

We, as Petaluma Parents for Safe Technology, have made several attempts at working with the administration at Cherry Valley and at PCSD to elicit change in a collaborative way. For example, the Superintendent, Principal Hansell, and the Board have appeared very receptive to learning about this health hazard and about the many solutions we can implement to create a safe classroom environment without significantly impacting the current curriculum or district policies encouraging technology. To be clear, we are not against the use of technology in the classroom, and we are not looking to discourage the district’s programs around the use of iPads or other technologies, we are simply demanding this technology be deployed and configured in such a way as to not expose our children to toxic radiation.

That said, we are not interested in a debate about what level of RF radiation is acceptable, or to hear that it is too costly or too difficult to use iPads without wireless access. These are not solutions but rather dismissals of our children's right to a safe learning environment and a classroom free from carcinogens. We truly believe there are win-win solutions that are available to Cherry Valley, and all schools within PCSD, right now; solutions that will appease parents regarding the safety of their children and have minimal impact on the curriculum and policies of the district. This is our goal, and we want it to be your goal too.

For example, safety training can be given to all teachers and administrators of wireless
technologies, the wireless devices can be unplugged/shut-off when children are present on
campus and activities can be downloaded prior to class and utilized in a safe airplane mode
setting, and/or the devices can be hooked up to existing Ethernet outlets i.e. hard wired. These are just a few of the many solutions that can become a win-win scenario showing how this district listens to and works with parents demanding a safe learning environment for their children without impacting the technology based curriculum you have rolled out.

Despite her interest in these solutions, Principal Hansell noted that all decisions related to the wireless devices must be directed by the district. Thus, we would like to continue to discuss with you how to eliminate the health hazard posed by radiation from these devices. We are all well aware of the prior contentious dialogue that has occurred related to this issue from some members of the community, and as we have previously expressed, that is not an approach we want to take. 

We request a constructive and respectful dialogue regarding solutions that are a win-win for everyone. We understand the many pressures and stakeholders the district works with, and we have done our best to steer the community away from conflict oriented approaches in hopes of a more collaborative approach, as we believe this is the way to the quickest and most effective solution for our children. We hope you will come to share this vision with us.

However, please do not let our desire to work with the district belie our commitment to a solution in a timely manner. It is our request to have this solution in place or in progress by the beginning of the 2016 school year. Every day that goes by our children are needlessly suffering. Please let us know when we can have additional face to face meetings and/or an official interactive audience with the Board so we can gain commitment from the district to allow Principal Hansell, and other principals within PSCD, to take the actions necessary to keep our children’s safe.

Best Regards,
Petaluma Parents for Safe Technology

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