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Teachers union wants Wifi banned from schools
During the Limestone District School Board meeting last week, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Association President Andrea Loken made a presentation to trustees regarding concerns surrounding Wi-Fi, or radio frequency electromagnetic fields, in schools.
The presentation ended with the board being asked four questions:
- Will the board make accommodations for staff and students who have or will develop electrohypersensitivity?
- Is the LDSB prepared to say that Wi-Fi is safe?
- With up to 30% of the population affected by EMF*, does the LDSB carry liability insurance against future health claims related to EMF exposure?
- Given the potential health concerns and the profoundly problematic state of technology implementation in LDSB classrooms, should the Board reconsider its approach and redirect funds to a safer, more reliable and faster means of accessing the internet ?
In the spring of 2015 concerned parents of the Calvin Park Elementary School Advisory Council made an official request to the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) that a presentation be made on the topic of safety concerns regarding the use of Wi-Fi in schools. This request was granted and a presentation was delivered to the Property and Operations Committee of the LDSB on October 28, 2015 by a concerned parent on behalf of the Kingstonians for Safety Technology Group (see attached power-point presentation).
This ten-minute presentation was delivered to a packed board room (standing room only) of other concerned parents and teachers and received a standing ovation. Following the presentation, a motion was proposed by Trustee Alec Ross that “That LDSB Senior Staff prepare a report on the safety regulations and protocols related to the use of Wi-Fi in LDSB Schools” . The motion was unanimously passed.
Subsequent to this presentation, Ms. Andrea Loken (President of the local secondary school teachers’ union OSSTF District 27) requested the opportunity to present to the LDSB on the same topic. Ms. Loken was invited to present to the LDSB Committee of the Whole on February 24, 2016 but this meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather. The meeting was re-scheduled to March 9, 2016, where Ms. Loken delivered a 5-minute presentation on behalf of the OSSTF District 27 and the local elementary teacher’s federation local (ETFO). Once again, this presentation was delivered to a packed board room where the number of attendees exceeded seating capacity.
The Senior Staff Report is expected to be released over the next two weeks. Ms. Loken will be requesting an opportunity to present to the Committee of the Whole at the time the report is presented.
CKNWS News Coverage of this story
Visit this page often for updates and news regarding this issue.
- Recent News and Information:
- Powerpoint slides – K4ST Presentation to Property & Operations Committee October 28, 2015
- Letter sent to all local School Advisory Councils as an invitation to attend presentation to Board on October 28, 2015
- Local television coverage (CKWS) of Ms. Loken’s presentation to the LDSB on March 9, 2016 (NOTE – THIS IS CACHED CONTENT AS THE ORIGINAL POSTING APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN REMOVED)
- Local newspaper coverage (Kingston Whig Standard) of Ms. Loken’s presentation to the LDSB on March 9, 2016