Dom Post on Wifi in schools

The Dom Post editorial:

Parents want the best for their children, and parents’ voices must always be taken seriously. It is understandable that parents at Te Horo school wanted to remove wi-fi from the junior classes after the death of a pupil at the school. This was a tragic event and all parents would obviously want to avoid it happening again. So the school decided to be safe rather than sorry.

Still, the decision is rather odd. The evidence suggests that wi-fi is safe. The Ministry of Health does not believe magnetic fields from wi-fi equipment in schools pose a health risk. The school authorities themselves admitted that the decision was not based on safety grounds.

Board of trustees chairman Steve Joss said the school had consulted widely, and the decision to turn off wi-fi in the junior classrooms was not about safety. “We don’t have concerns about safety with the wi-fi,” Mr Joss said. “But we received enough feedback from parents not wanting it in the junior school that we decided to switch it off.”

This seems to mean that the school is bowing to the wishes of parents even though there is no evidence to back them up. This is not a very good precedent to set when making decisions about children’s education. It’s not unlike the situation of Hamilton, which banned fluoride in its drinking water after the concerted action of a lobby group, although there is no evidence that fluoride is unsafe.

It is much the same, ignoring science and giving into a small pressure group.

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