November 12, 2013: OPPS Meeting
All parents want their children to have the best education and agree
that the latest technology can be used as a great tool to spark the
interest of our children. But using wireless technology should not
come at a cost of our children’s health when there are so many safe
alternatives available to achieve the same goal.
One example would be the use of technology carts that can store and
power up generic tablets or netbooks ($200) with pre loaded
information, then the Wifi router can be turned off and hand tablet
or netbook to the children! It restricts their access to the
Internet, keeps them on task and does not emit microwave radiation.
The cost of putting in Commercial Wifi Routers that are on 24/7 and
supplying the children with $600 iPads (key boards $75 more) is
outrageous when this technology could be obsolete in a couple of
years and need replacing.
IPad’s are easily stolen, or broken and can only connect wirelessly
to the internet, leaving electro sensitive children and concerned
parents with no good option.
After reading through over 800 comments from the WiFi Survey
surprisingly parents felt no Wifi would mean their child would not
have access to technology. Which is not true, the only question was
whether the connection to the Internet should be hard wired or
- 1 out of 4 parents or 25% were concerned about the health risks
associated with microwave radiation from routers and other wireless
- there was an overwhelming concern about having strict control over
access to unsupervised Internet. Parents are concerned about their
children wasting their time with social media and having unlimited
access to inappropriate material online. There is no supervision
with BYOD (Bring your own device)
- a percentage of parents felt that the money used to provide the
children with access to wireless Internet and wireless devices would
be better spent in other areas of education that needed some
- what concerns me most is the amount of parents that said they
could have made a better decision with their answers if they had
been provided with some information on the subject.
This was not a slam-dunk in favour of the installation of WiFi in
Elementary Schools but rather results showed how little information
has been given to parents on the subject. Parents need to know
children can still benefit from technology in schools without giving
up all control over unlimited access to the internet and without
sacrificing health by simply using existing hard wire connections.
In closing, I would like to request that the Board implement the
recommendations made by the VCPAC, the BCCPAC, the GVTA and the BCTF
that collectively endorse: consultation and parental consent;
preferred safer hard wired connections and software that does not
require Wi-Fi; measures to reduce exposure by limiting Wi-Fi to
certain areas; and the provision of on/off switches. These
cautionary measures would also support students and teachers
suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) by
accommodating them in the educational/ workplace setting.
To have at least one wifi free school at each level, Elementary,
Middle School and High School where children who are sensitive to
microwave radiation and parents who are concerned about the health
risks can have a place to send their children.
We are asking for choice and the right to decide what’s safe for our
Note: ‘Smart Carts’ Flyer attachment is just one example,
there are other similar options.
L.A School District stops free Apple iPad program after students
hack through security feature
”We are kidding ourselves if we think we can secure access to the
internet on a wireless device that are given to tech savvy children
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils
BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) - 40,000 teachers
Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association (GVTA): Precautionary
Position on Wi-Fi