Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Victoria Trustees strike Ad-Hoc Committee to Investigate Safety of Wifi

Last night's Board meeting adopted a motion to strike an ad-hoc committee of teachers, parents, trustees, support workers and other stakeholder groups to investigate the potential risks of wifi technology in schools.

This is a good first step in gathering evidence and considering adoption of a precautionary principle. Rather than conduct a grand experiment on our children, should we not first know that wifi is safe before massive expansion in schools to support a myriad of wireless devices?

Three speakers presented to the Board. One parent criticized the documentation provided by Secretary Treasurer George Ambeault, as it came primarily from Canadian Health Authorities. The parent mentioned that these authorities do not look at all scientific evidence, do not consider whether studies have corporate funding from the telecommunications industry, and have failed to take precautionary measures in the past - notably with cigarette smoking, asbestos and the tainted blood scandal.

A second parent spoke to the issue of sensitivity, which her son, a student at Mt. Doug, has experienced. He has been unable to attend school due to the presence of Wireless Access Points and the family has had difficulty getting reliable information on the location of wifi devices within the schools.

The Committee will be reporting back to the Spring Operations meeting of the Board.

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