Monday, September 23, 2013

Should Parent Concerns Be Considered When Deciding About Cell Tower Construction?

This is a question that many school boards, including the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, has been considering when it comes to the decision about constructing cell phone towers on school property or near the property. Because the FCC and other government entities have developed strict standards for cell towers in order to keep the radio frequency emissions low and there hasn’t been any conclusive studies linking cell towers and negative health effects, why should these towers be a concern?

The Capital Gazette explains in the case of Maryland’s Anne Arundel County that, “ Essentially, the objections to Milestone Communications’ proposal for a 99-foot-tall monopole antenna at Piney Orchard Elementary School in Odenton represent fear of the unknown — a reasonable thing when it comes to the evolving understanding of health risks.

However, the school board believes these towers are a necessity because they will provide funds for education as well as meet the demand for cell phone reception throughout the county. Many towns have begun taking legislative steps to ban cell towers being built on or near school property.

“Parents are capable of weighing concrete financial gains and cloudy potential for health risks. It’s easy to see parents at Piney Orchard saying no thanks to a tower on their 18-acre school yard, while parents at Broadneck High, another targeted school, might be OK with one on their 62-acre campus,” the Capital Gazette explained. 

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