Cell Phone Tower Trauma

October 30, 2008 at 12:12 am Leave a comment

Watching the cell phone tower offer unfold at the our neighborhood school (where I am on the LSC) has been interesting, to say the least.  The LSC decided to solicit opinions from the school population via several methods: email, a mailbox in the school, and a group message board.  In all, 22 families made their opinion known on the matter, only one of which was in favor of erecting the antennas in exchange for upwards of $72K per year.   So what does that mean about the remaining 260 or so families that didn’t express an opinion?  They don’t give a rip?  They forgot to write in?  They figured that other people were posting negative comments so they didn’t need to?  It’s hard to interpret.   How does an LSC take the votes into account?  And assuming the majority doesn’t care, do you nix the tower because of a small but vocal group?   And for that matter, should the LSC even be polling the school on issues when they were elected to represent that school?

It has also been interesting to see the level of concern over the antennas.  There is no proof that they cause any harm, nor is there any proof that they don’t.  Basically, the things are untested over time, much like many things we encounter in life.  It makes me wonder if parents in the 1950’s worried about TV’s emitting dangerous waves.  Come to think of it, has long term TV exposure actually ever been tested?   I suppose it’s safe or I would be a mutant by now based solely on my rate of watching Scooby Doo during the 70’s.

In any case, one of the most compelling arguments I have heard so far against the tower comes from a teacher who’s classroom would likely be located directly under the antenna.   Despite any hardcore evidence, I can’t say that I’d personally feel comfortable having an antenna sitting over my head day after day for what could be years (CPS teachers need to be in service for something like 34 years to get their pension.)  If she or one of the kids in the school got seriously ill in the next decade I don’t think I’d want to always be wondering if that cell antenna that we voted for had been related in any way.

Many of the parents who are opposed to the antennas follow up their opinion with the comment, “there are other ways to raise the money.”   Now that is the million dollar question (or $72K question in this case.)  WHAT exactly are those other ways?

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