Write the school board with these questions and raise them in school meetings with the community. 

1.  Will the County receive any revenue from the cell tower rental? 

  • Sometimes cell tower companies on school grounds have been found to have NOT  paid property taxes and no one was  monitoring their compliance.  See this examplefrom Maryland. 

2.  When is the balloon test?  

  • Ask for a balloon test with public notification so that community members can see just how high the tower will be above the school. If this has already been done then why didn't you know about it? Every community member should have been informed. That is the law. 

3. Will this result in the cell tower/compound becoming a HAZMAT location?

  • In some counties cell towers are  required to register as HAZMAT locations with the fire Department. Some counties have not ensured compliance with this requirement.

4. What type of generator will this compound have?  Will it be noisy? Will it run on diesel fuel ? How often will it be tested and for how long? 

  • Some new cell tower compounds require a back up generator that must be tested weekly. Generators can run on diesel fuel and that fuel must be replenished. Diesel fuel fumes are  a classified Carcinogen per the World Health Organization.  If they are noisy will the children on the fields and playground hear it as they work and play? 

5.   How many vendors will be on the tower? 

  • One tower can hold 3 different vendors.  Vendors AND their subcontractors must have 24/7 access to the cell tower for maintenance and emergencies and May come in when field is in use for any reason.  Workers do not need to check in as school visitors do. 

6.  Please explain the "fall zone."

  • Cell towers can fall over - so the "fall zone" is important for planning purposes.  What is in the fall zone?  Is the school , a parking lot or a playground in the fall zone?  If the response is that cell towers crumble and do not fall then please send them examples of cell towers (below) that have fallen over at the base. Our children are to precious to be relying on what buildings are "supposed" to do. 

7.  Will falling ice sheets be an issue? 

  • Cell towers can form ice sheets that fall from the top. The bottom of the tower must have have fall zone so that there is protection from these falling ice sheets.

8.  Does every teacher staff and parent at the school know that the radiation the tower emits is a Class 2 B carcinogen with no safety assurances that researchers say "needs more research"? 

  • Neither the EPA nor the FDA have developed safety exposure limits for this radiation.  The EPA states very clearly on it’s website that “ More research is needed to clarify the question of safety. “

9.  How high will the fence be? What will it be made of?

  • What will keep kids from climbing the fence?  Many reports are in of teens and troucled adults climbing towers both for fun (on a dare) and because they are suicidal. 

10.  Who will be authorizing the construction of the cell tower? 

  • The land owner must authorize actions concerning their property. However in many cases you will see that someone other than the Board of Education signed. This is illegal. Ensure all laws are being followed. 

11.  Who is responsible for the electricity to run the cell tower?  

  • Cell towers on public property have been found to have not run their own lines and have simply been letting their electric costs be paid by the government entity.

12.  Where does the money go?  

  • How many teachers will the school hire with the money? Look at breakdown of where money goes.  Schools often only get small percentage. 

13. How was the community notified? 

  • All too often the community was notified by a tiny little notice that most people just threw away as junk mail. Sometimes notices are put in the paper in a 2 by 3 inch space. This is not acceptable.  Communities need more notice, a full page flyer! 

14. What safety checks will workers get who come to work on the tower? Are they fingerprinted as County school staff is to be sure they are safe for interacting with children? 

  • Maintinence crews  have 24 hour access and they come and go with their trucks at least weekly. Often they do not need to go though the  same safety protocols as staff at school. Ensure any worker who comes on the school campus will be fingerprinted. 

15. Are Teachers, Staff and parents aware of the research linking this type of radiation to sleep disturbances,  immune damage, reproductive damage and neurological problems? 

  • This radiation is not just  classified as a Class 2 B Possible Human Carcinogen, it is also implicated in many other health issues. People need to know.  

16. Will trees be taken down to put the compound up?  

  • Will trees be hurt by the amount of machinery on the ground and the trucks that will pull up to the compound?  Will a road need to be built to the compound and what is the environmental impact of that? 

17. What parks and natural areas are nearby? Any wildlife sanctuaries or wetlands?  

  • Map it out. Has an environmental impact study been done? Show where impacts could occur to wildlife. Remember that the Dept. of the Interior has stated birds could be hurt by this radiation. Remember that recent research shows that birds magnetic compass is thrown off by this radiation. 

School Cell Towers: A List of Questions to Ask the Decision-Makers 

Parents For Safe Technology