On Wednesday, September 14, the Wake County Board of Education decided to look further into the addition of cell phone towers on school zones. Adding cell phone towers to school property gives schools the opportunity to earn more money.
Keung Hui from The News and Observer wrote, “Wake now gets $187,792 a year in rent from cell phone tower leases at Sanderson and Wakefield high schools and Daniels Middle School.”
Although towers seem like an easy solution to recent budget cuts, they pose some problems as well. There haven’t been any conclusive studies, but parents, administrators, and scientists alike are concerned that cell towers have detrimental effects due to radiation caused by the use of radiofrequency.
Angela Scioli, a social studies teacher, said, “While it might be easy to dismiss this kind of, like, wacky conspiratorial thinking that perhaps cell phones and cell phone towers are not safe, I don’t think you can be too careful when you’re dealing with people’s kids… Parents are trusting Wake County Public Schools to always do what’s in the best interests of children, and there is no amount of money worth taking a risk with people’s children.”
Wake County is considering the addition of cell phone towers because they are in desperate need of money, as they are 12 million dollars short of their usual budget. Schools have had to make drastic budget cuts to essential parts of the school such as janitors, air conditioning, and more. Wake County must look at all angles surrounding the safety of cell towers (as well as the amount of money generated) before making the important decision.
There is also the issue surrounding the appearance of cell towers not fitting in aesthetically with the rest of the school and how to best integrate the tall towers onto school property.
Although the addition of cell towers is not set in stone, it is definitely an idea that must be thought through. The school board must remember to keep in mind the lack of school funding, as well as the safety of their students.