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Open Letter to School Board on Cell Phone Attennae

Dear Superintendent and Board Members:

This is a recap of facts on the school cell phone antenna issues that this community wants resolved. As you are all aware, AT&T has cell phone antennas on top of Maya Lin School and on Wood Middle School; Sprint had them on Wood Middle School until this July, and T-Mobile has them on top of Alameda High School. The students that are negatively affected by the emissions from the cell phone antennas attend Alameda High, Alameda Community Learning Center, Lum Elementary, Wood Middle and Maya Lin Elementary Schools.

The school district and board to date have not shown the community it is taking action towards the cellular industry to protect its children, nor has the district notified the parent communities at any of the above schools of the cell phone antenna’s existence. It is not good educational practice to continue to exhaust your parental community just to ensure their children attend safe schools; that should be a given. If that were the case, it would allow parents’ efforts to be spent working with the principals and teachers so they have what they need to provide quality education. From information that has been shared, there is a statically alarming amount of cancer patients at the above school sites. I just ran into another recent Alameda High graduate with cancer while I was at Children’s Hospital last month.

In 2004 the district put its first cell phone antenna on top of a school. In 2011 the district and board approved AT&T upgrade/modernize the cell phone antennas on top of Wood and Maya Lin Schools for more money. The recent district negotiations with AT&T proved to be unsuccessful in saving the district the expense of removing the AT&T cell phone antennas. The district is going to have to pay to turn them off and remove them and the school board is going to have to direct the district do so. When you get into business with snakes you often get bit and pay big money to break business ties!

Fiscal responsibility involves forward thinking not just accepting money from anyone willing to cash out to get what they want without a regard for those affected. When cell phones were invented, we were all informed they cause cancer. What made anyone forget this? The data on cell phone towers/antennas and health effects are conflicting at best. Real estate contracts even disclose to potential buyers to investigate proximity of cell phone towers/antennas when considering a real estate purchase as they may negatively affect the value of property and/or be considered an environmental hazard. May I advise the board and district to read the fine print from this day forward before agreeing to anything the district presents and utilize common sense when making decisions that may need future clean up.

  1. This community requested the board notify the cellular companies that the district will not renew the cellular leases. The board has yet to do this.
  2. This community requested the district counsel or cellular company counsel remove/dismantle/make inoperable the cellular antennas on the schools in Alameda under irreparable harm before school resumes on August 25, 2014. The district and board have not to date taken action in this regard either.

At the last board meeting the board did not take action in closed session or open session directing the district take action to turn off and/or remove the cell phone antennas on any school in Alameda. Enough stalling; the board needs to direct the district to take action to turn the cell phone antennas off and remove them immediately at district cost at the next board meeting in closed session on August 12, 2014. This community wants action taken now to protect its children and staff.

Sincerely,

Jeannie D’Amato, Parent, Resident, Community Member

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