A group of parents are demanding that San Diego school administrators create a policy banning cell towers on school grounds.
A San Diego Unified School District representative told parents that AT&T has proposed putting a tower on the grounds of San Diego High School.
The issue that was listed on an upcoming board agenda was discussed Monday at a regularly scheduled meeting between San Diego High School parents and SDUSD Executive Director of District Relations Moises Aguirre.
“If it were to happen, this is something that needs to be done pretty carefully,” Aguirre assured the parents. "This is not something that would be done in the middle of the night."
“It’s not just something that would be done without more conversation about it,” he added.
However, some parents are worried the district would act over the summer without contacting parents.
At the "coffee with the principal" meeting, some San Diego High parents cited scientific studies and made it clear they're opposed to the idea.
“There are rays that do come off of cell phone towers, and I think there are studies that show there are health long term, cancer, Alzheimer’s, brain issues,” said parent Christine D’Amico. “It just isn’t worth gambling with."
The American Cancer Society offers a look at concerns about cell phone towers and cancers on its website.
The organization says radiofrequency waves (RF waves) can heat up body tissues at very high levels (for microwave ovens, for example) however the levels of energy used by cell phones and towers are much lower.
The National Cancer Institute also published a collection of study results as well as official statements on the topic from leading government agencies like the FCC, USDA and CCDC.
Aguirre assured parents they wouldn't see a tower once school starts back up in the fall but that he couldn't make promises beyond that.
The amount of money the school would receive from the deal and potential health hazards would be taken into consideration before the tower would be built.
A similar controversy surfaced in the Bay Area when AT&T approached an elementary school about adding a cell phone tower near its playground.