Canadian Schools Ban WiFi Based On Bad Science

from the and-what-are-they-teaching-our-kids dept

A decade ago, we first wrote about some freaked out, clueless parents suing a school district for wanting to install a WiFi network. The parents believed -- based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever -- that WiFi networks emitted "harmful" electro-magnetic radiation. Since then, we've heard of many such stories of people fearing the health impacts of WiFi, despite a near total lack of evidence of any harm at all. Studies have found that an entire year sitting next to a WiFi access point gives you the equivalent radiation of 20 minutes on a mobile phone. And yet, every few years, we hear about parents or politicians freaking out about the issue and trying to get WiFi banned in schools.

Amazingly, they've succeeded in some places, including 12 elementary and middle schools up in Canada, which are now being called out by a group called "Bad Science Watch" for making decisions based on absolutely and totally bogus science. You can read the full report here, in which they call out "anti-WiFi activists" who are "spreading misinformation." It seems they ought to call out schools as well. You would think that places of learning would investigate the actual science.
These claims are not substantiated by the scientific literature and have little acceptance from medical professionals and the scientific community. This activism therefore amounts to nothing more than fear-mongering by misguided special interest groups who are attempting to have these networks removed.

Nevertheless, the media has been all too willing to fan the flames of controversy and has contributed to a growing false uncertainty over the safety of WiFi. As a result many school boards, libraries, and town councils across Canada have been called on by concerned citizens to limit or remove WiFi networks.

Filed Under: canada, health, scared, wifi


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  1. icon
    Some Other AC (profile), 6 Feb 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re:

    Well in the case of my oldest child, the district where he attends school issues netbooks to Middle school and High school students. As it would be cost prohibitive to install the required network drops in addition to the additional network gear, using a protected WiFi system was the best and most cost effective solution.
    I have assisted in projects at my employer to expand office space and install additional network drops and gear. When you factor the hourly rate for the wiring techs, the cost of cabling and accessories, and the network gear to expand the network to accommodate the expansion, adding just 30 cubes can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
    Now expand that to a multi-room school and you can see that the cost to wire it would easily reach into 6 figures.

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