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Thursday, March 29, 2012

3/29/12 letter to Dr. Rod Rock on dangers of Wi-Fi in schools

Dr. Rock,

I spoke at the end of the 3/26/12 CCS Board meeting.  I said that I had done research on the use of Wi-Fi in schools and asked if you had checked into the health concerns of Wi-Fi in schools prior to proposing WI-Fi technology for the schools.  You did not comment on that when you spoke after I spoke at the meeting and you have not responded to me since then on the subject.

I would hope that you have not done any research on health issues on the use of Wi-Fi in schools, because if you had, I feel that would mean that you were deliberately putting the health and safety of the CCS students, staff, and volunteers at risk.  After receiving this email you cannot pretend that you have no knowledge about the health dangers of Wi-Fi in order to deny responsibility for the health effects that may result from implementing district wide Wi-Fi in schools. 

I would like to make you aware of some research I was able to find on the internet in regard to Wi-Fi.  Please check out the following data and links that have information on the dangers of Wi-Fi in general and specifically in schools.

It is estimated that 3% of the population is "extremely sensitive" to Wi-Fi radiation and a third of the population is "sensitive".  However, Wi-Fi puts everyone who is exposed to it on a long term basis (like students and employees in a school setting) at a potentially greater risk of short and long term health impacts.

This is a public school system that is in place to support ALL CCS students.  The school district has an obligation to provide a safe environment for all of the students, employees, volunteers, and anyone else who comes into the school buildings.  If the school district puts in 24x7 Wi-Fi, a student or employee who is sensitive to the effects of the Wi-Fi may be unable to attend school (or work) at all or could be made sick by the radio frequency microwaves from the Wi-Fi.  The youngest children and pregnant women are very sensitive, but others could also be more prone to problems.  

"The Seletun Panel (February, 2011), consisting of international scientists and experts, including Lloyd Morgan, recommends wired internet access in schools, and strongly recommends that schools do not install wireless internet connections that create pervasive and prolonged EMF exposures for children.  .  The Panel was led by Professor Olle Johansson, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockhom, Sweden) who submitted an open letter to Canada’s Greater Victoria School District stating further explaining his concern that, ‘WI-FI routers can not be regarded as safe in schools, but must be deemed highly hazardous and unsafe for the children as well as for the staff.’ See: for more information.

Adverse health effects from this long-term low level electromagnetic radiation include:
       heart attack,
       cell death,
       diseases of the blood,
       interference to bone marrow,
       brain tumors,
       altered calcium level in cells,
       reduction in night-time melatonin,
       suppression of the immune system,
       skin problems,
       lymphatic diseases,
       vaginal discharge,
       vascular system disease,
       childhood cancer,
       sleep problems,
       mental problems involving depression,
       memory loss,
       difficulty in concentrating,
       dizziness and fatigue,
       suicidal tendencies,
       and infertility. (Trower  Dec. ¶ 21).

Other health endpoints that have been reported to be associated with ELF and/or RF include:
       childhood leukemia,
       adult brain tumors,
       childhood brain tumors,
       genotoxic effects (DNA damage and micronucleation),
       neurological effects and neurodegenerative disease (like ALS and Alzheimer's),
       immune system disregulation,
       allergic and inflammatory responses,
       breast cancer in men and women,
       and some cardiovascular effects. (Carpenter Dec. ¶ 8)

There is "suggestive" to "strongly-suggestive" evidence that RF exposures may cause changes in:
       cell membrane function,
       cell communication,
       activation of proto-oncogenes,
       and can trigger the production of stress proteins at exposure levels below current regulatory limits. (Carpenter Dec. ¶ 10).

Resulting effects can include:
       DNA breaks and chromosome aberrations,
       cell death including death of brain neurons,
       increased free radical production,
       activation of the endogenous opioid system,
       cell stress and premature aging,
       changes in brain function including memory loss,
       retarded learning,
       performance impairment in children,
       headaches and fatigue,
       sleep disorders,
       neurodegenerative conditions,
       changes in immune function (allergic and inflammatory responses),
       and reduction in melatonin secretion and cancers. (Id.)

These links have more information:  There is a civil action lawsuit against the Portland Public School district in regard to the district's use of Wi-Fi.  It is also attached to this email as a PDF document.   This is an audio interview of Magda Havas, an expert in the study of Wi-Fi and other forms of microwave radiation.  This is a very good document to start with (also on the email attachment: 07_Havas_WiFi-SNAFU.pdf)  Dr. Magda Havas' website (BSc, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, Peterborough, Canada)      Important video by Dr. Magda Havas, BSc, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, Peterborough, Canada    Information on responsible digital communication in schools,72,0   Citizens for Safe Technology website     Information about Wolfe-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a heart condition that 1 in every 700 students has where Wi-Fi exposure can trigger episodes of arrhythmia and tachycardia.

Additional sources of information on Wi-Fi on the web:

Should you implement the technology plan utilizing Wi-Fi devices in the schools as stated in the proposed bond and/or you continue to utilize Wi-Fi in the schools, I will consider you responsible for the health concerns that ensue on the students as well as district employees and volunteers who might be affected by the microwave radiation from both the Wi-Fi antennas as well as the wireless devices the students will be using.  The Portland Public School system is being sued by parents in regard to the use of Wi-Fi in their schools.

I want you to know that I am not against technology.  I work in the technology industry, but my being contrary to the current bond request and Wi-Fi technology is not related to any personal financial matter on my part.  My opposition to the bond is related to the already high district debt, excessive cost for the bond, lack of proper planning on the part of the district, using the students as guinea pigs in regard to the teaching technology and the use of Wi-Fi technology (health and safety), as well as a lack of concern for the wants and needs of the community.   

Solution: When using internet connectivity, there is a wired alternative that does not expose humans to RF damage.  It is called powerline networking.

If the district ends up putting Wi-Fi in all of the schools and supplying the students wireless devices to use in school and/or at home, there is likely to be a health epidemic in the school system related to the Wi-Fi that may be felt at the outset and for decades to come (after you have left Clarkston Schools for greener pastures). 

You have now been advised and you cannot feign ignorance of the health dangers of Wi-Fi in schools.  Therefore, should the district go ahead with the Wi-Fi initiative in the district, whether or not the bond passes, I will hold both you personally, and the district as a legal entity, responsible and liable for the health impacts on the students, the employees, and volunteers who may be affected in the district. 

By the way, I will be forwarding this same information to the press.
Thank you.


  1. Afraid your to late, the wifi is in at ecc and underway at other schools. It will be done bond or no bond! Suprised?

  2. No, I am not surprised and unfortunately, the ECC is the worst possible place to have the Wi-Fi in the school system.

    Does Dr. Rock care about the health and safety of our children?

    I sent this email to Dr. Rock very early this morning (I also cc'ed the entire Board of Ed and the district's lead counsel-attorney). I know that the individual Board members cannot respond due to the policies about their not being able to respond for fear of "speaking for the Board", but I have not heard from Dr. Rock, the lead attorney, nor the Board president, Cheryl McGinnis - not even an acknowledgment of receipt of the email.

  3. I still had not received a response to my original email sent the early morning hours of 3/29/12, so I forwarded the same email and requested acknowledgment from Dr. Rock, Mrs. Cheryl McGinnis (the school board president), and William Burgess (the district's attorney from Dickinson Wright) yesterday afternoon.

    I received a response from Mr. Burgess shortly thereafter:

    "Dear Ms. Schaller: I received copies of both of your email messages on this topic. Because the subject matter is neither within the scope of my responsibilities nor my expertise, I will not respond further and you need not copy me on future communications on this topic. Thank you.

    Bill Burgess"

    Still no response from Dr. Rock, nor Mrs. McGinnis.

  4. Dr. Rock doesn't like confrontation.

  5. That is very true, but more importantly, he doesn't like it if he doesn't get his way.