I reported a while back that the Victoria School District struck a committee to look at the issue of potential health risks from wireless technology in schools. The committee has had two meetings and a third is scheduled. They will be making recommendations to the Board of Trustees.
The committee was struck when concerned parents and teachers spoke at Board meetings regarding the expansion of wireless networks in school, which has taken place this fall. While Health Canada does not suggest banning wireless devices, they acknowledge that more research is necessary.
Scientific evidence is insufficient to claim either that health risks exist or conversely that no health risks exist. Canadian standards are considerably weaker than those in Europe and no studies currently exist on the effects on children.
A Victoria group Citizens for Safe Technology has recently issued a press release because the committee chair, Secretary Treasurer George Ambeault, has refused to allow a scientist from the University of Albany New York make a public presentation via skype. This appears to fly in the face of both a commitment to a science based decision making process as well as a commitment to use technology to ensure inclusiveness. (http://whynotwired.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/press-release-renowned-expert-denied-voice-in-greater-victoria-school-district/)
The issue has been controversial amongst teachers. The provincial news magazine has run articles both in favour and against a more precautionary attitude towards wireless technology. Given that the science is inconclusive, it seems prudent to exercise caution particularly in buildings with large numbers of children and where the proliferation of wireless devices and transmitters could become significantly higher than a typical home. Some European countries are choosing to hard wire their schools instead.