Schools Worldwide Removing the Wi-Fi and Reducing Exposure

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This page hosts a running list of INDIVIDUAL schools that have removed Wi-Fi or reduced Wi-Fi radiation. The information is divided into country/state government action on public schools first and then a list of  private schools.

Please note that the countries of Cyprus, France, Belgium and Israel are among the countries that have banned Wi-Fi in classrooms for young children and/or taken major measures to reduce radiation exposure.

Learn more about government and country action here.  Learn more about PTAs and Teacher Unions taking action here. 

In 2017, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health And Protection Advisory Council issued first ever Recommendations for Wired Internet In Schools and Minimizing RF Classrooms:

Introductory information for teachers and decision makers includes:

New Jersey Education Association Minimize health risks from electronic devices” Article, PDF of Recommendations

Read a the Santa Clara Medical Bulletin article by Dr. Cindy Russell on Schools and Wireless

EHT’s Briefing Wireless Radiation and Children’s Health

Safe Schools 2012, Wi-Fi in Canadian Schools: A Health and Safety Issue

Upper Sturt Primary School WiFi and Cell Phone Policy: A great example of policy independant schools can practically implement.

Collaborative for High Performing Schools Low EMF Criteria/Blueprint For Schools: This criteria gives plans to school on how to reduce and eliminate exposures. 

Consumer Reports, CNN Sanjay Gupta, The Today Show, Green America, Canada AM,

Connecticut Department of Health, Vienna Medical Association, Cyprus Medical Association, Athens Medical Association, Child and Youth Service Geneva Switzerland, EMF Scientist Appeal

Below is an interview with City of Lakes teachers on how they removed the Wi-Fi from the classrooms due to health concerns.

Public School Policy

Note: The schools and school districts listed here are taking steps in the right direction but many of them are not fully protecting students and staff. Safety is assured with fully wired internet and Low EMF practices.

2017/2018 – Montgomery County Maryland

In January 2018, the Chief Technology Officer of Montgomery County Maryland, one of the top School Districts in the country shared information on Digital Device Safety to all staff in a memo. Read the Memo here.  

1/12/2018 Memo “Digital Safety At School And At Home”

The MCCPTA Safe Technology Subcommittee would like to share the following recommendations for using technology at school and at home. For Students at School:

  • Consider placing Chromebooks/laptops on desks and tables rather than in laps;
  • Don’t forget to shut down and log off of Chromebooks/laptops when moving from classroom to classroom;
  • Consider turning off cell phones and keeping them in backpacks or lockers off when not in use;
  • If necessary, take eye breaks, 1-to 2 minutes in length, approximately every 15 minutes;
  • Attend to task! Avoid distractions such as reading email, playing games, or browsing the Internet;
  • Engage in face-to-face socialization, especially at free time, lunch, and recess;
  • Always use the Internet and devices for educational purposes in accordance with MCPS’s responsible use policies;
  • Use resources that do not infringe on another’s copyright or trademark rights.

For Students at Home:

  • “Disconnect” at least one hour before bedtime.  This includes all forms of media and requires online-based homework to be done well in advance of bedtime;
  • Keep electronic devices out of bedrooms for a sounder sleep.

For Teachers:

  • Encourage students, when appropriate, to customize their device screens using tools such as ScreenShader designed to reduce potential eye strain and fatigue
  • Consider providing students with options for good behavior that include physical activity and social interaction rather than “device time”;
  • When requested, provide paper alternatives for take-home class work.

Additional Resources:

 

2017 The Montgomery County School Chromebook Policy states that laptops should stay on tables and not on laps.  

 

2017: Worcester Massachusetts, School Committee voted to approve “precautionary options” to be posted on the Worcester District Website

Read the Document entitled “Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure” now posted on Worcester’s School District’s website.  

“It is the Administration’s view that existing government regulating agencies should be setting proper exposure levels and offering best practices, such as the EPA and FCC”.

“Based on the guidance from these agencies, the Administration proposes the following:

If you are concerned about radiation or heat from electronic devices, follow these guidelines:  

  • Consider increasing the distance between electronic devices and your body  
  • Consider keeping your cellphone, tablet, or laptop in your purse, backpack, or briefcase case instead of keeping it on or close to your body
  • If talking on a cellphone, consider using speakerphone or a hands free headset or reduce the number or length of calls  
  • When not using wireless or Bluetooth, consider shutting off these services on the device or put the device in Airplane mode  
  • Consider not placing the device directly on your lap. Instead consider placing it on a hard surface such as a desk or bo

Note: This initiative was supported by a local community organization called Worcester Info Team for Health whose Mission Statement was “… to support Worcester decision makers and others in learning about and mitigating the  public health risks posed by the rapid roll-out of wireless devices and infrastructure,  emphasizing the Precautionary Principle and seeking collaboration on creative solutions.”

Watch video testimony with excerpts from Worcester School Committee deliberations and vote here.

Press Release on Worcester Massachusetts precautionary Options

 

News Articles on the Worcester School Committees Actions on Wi-Fi

 

2016 – Petaluma Public Schools, California USA: Public school district adopts “Digital Device Practices”

 

2016 – Onteora School District in New York State Adopts “Best Practices with Wi-Fi

Onteora “Student Acceptable Use of District Technology”

  • The bottom of page 4 states: “Best Practices For Wi-Fi:  Turn off the device when not in use and at the end of each day.  If device is to stay on, turn Wi-Fi off when not in use (switch on side, or airplane mode on iPad).  Always place the device on a solid surface  Viewing distance should be a minimum of 12 inches from the screen.”

 

Onteora Employee Acceptable Use of District Technology”

 

2016 Meeting Minutes Page 2 (When Best Practices approval discussed at Board meeting )

  • “Turn off the device when not in use and at the end of each day.  If device is to stay on, turn Wi-Fi off when not in use. Always place device on a solid surface. Viewing distance should be a minimum of 12 inches from the screen.  Staff was asked by the Principals to post this in areas that contain computers and devices. They are reminding staff to follow it.”

 

2015 – Ashland Public Schools, Massachusetts Institutes “Best Practices”

 

Los Angeles, California Public Schools (LAUSD) Bans Cell towers on school property and recommends Cautionary RFR Exposure Levels (10,000 lower than FCC limits but not biologically protective.) 

Motion by Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Michael Antonovich

Safety Issues Related to the LAUSD RFR Thresholds : Los Angeles School District states they use precautionary RFR guidelines- however  even a threshold at 10,000 times lower than FCC limits is not safe because peer reviewed published scientific research has shown harm at levels hundreds of thousands times lower than FCC limits. The school district is in fact increasing wireless exposures with Wi-Fi access points and increasing exposure to students and staff. The LAUSD is not ensuring safety with these actions-  but has taken a step in the right direction by banning cell towers at schools and instituting a RFR threshold at 10,000 less than the FCC. More needs to be done by LAUSD to ensure safety for students and staff as the current exposures continue to be excessive. In addition the LAUSD measures the radiation in the building by averaging the power density which masks areas of high intensity and peak exposures. From a human health standpoint, the RFR measurements must include peak readings in addition to the length of time children are exposed however the LA USD does not consider peak exposures nor the duration of exposures in the classroom. Until these measures are taken, one cannot adequately evaluate the EMF environment.

Note on Safety: Digital Device “Best Practices that still allow Wi-Fi access points in classrooms- still allow microwave exposures to the children and such practices are not adequately protective to children. These District actions seem to be acknowledgment that wireless device expose the body to radiation. However, such “Best Practices” still allow access points to be powered on and thus are always exposing the students and staff to continuous microwave radiation regardless of the devices being in use or not. In addition, devices are also continuously transmitting during student use of the internet and no procedure is in place to ensure that Best Practices are followed so that the transmissions are turned off when the internet is not needed.  Therefore these “Best Practices” do not mitigate the risk nor protect students from School District created wireless exposures.

SCHOOLS THAT ARE REMOVING WI-FI OR REDUCING CHILDREN’S EXPOSURE

NOTE: EHT is listing these actions as they happen. Sometimes things change over time. Please contact us if information needs updating. Please also contact us if a school needs to be on this list that we have not identified.

2018: Headwaters Academy, Ontario Canada: Completely WiFi free

  • A 110-acre set atop the Niagara Escarpment in the beautiful Beaver Valley near Thornbury, Ontario
  • Headwaters Academy (JK-8) opted to use hard-wired iMacs in the passive solar-heated classroom and provide a WiFi free learning environment.  Top marks were earned with Air Quality as well.

2017: The Santa Fe Waldorf in New Mexico: Wi-Fi removed in elementary school classroom. Currently accommodating children with EHS in the elementary school. Has previously accommodated children with MCS, and is currently equipped to do s

2017: Worcester Massachusetts, School Committee voted to approve “precautionary options” to be posted on the Worcester District Website. Read Press Release.

2017: San Diego California USA  Waldorf School: Adopted CHPS guidelines wired internet/electronic free zones/and hardwired phones per article published in Renewal Magazine.

2017: Sacramento California USA Waldorf School: WiFi will be turned off when not in use starting in Fall 2017.

2017: Wi-fi OFF Switches Installed in the Fiskars primary school. Read press release.

2017: Cyprus Bans Wi-Fi from kindergartens, removes Wi-Fi from elementary classrooms and halts deployment. Original Translated Directive from the Cyprus Minister of Culture and Education ; Read Press release on Cyprus Wi-Fi removal from elementary classrooms

2016: Haifa, Israel: Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav (of Israel’s 3rd largest city) ordered all schools to have wireless removed and replaced with wired connections. Watch Haifa School IT Chief describe how they removed/reduced wireless.

2016 Lowell School, Washington DC

  • In the kindergarten wing in 2016,  the Wi-Fi hotspots were removed and the teachers are given ethernet and adapters so that computers and class technology can be ethernet connected (corded) to reduce RF-EMF exposure.

2016 Italy: Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino laid out plans “to cut back on Wi-Fi in state schools and government buildings over concerns that radiation might damage people’s health”.

2016: Onteora School District in New York State USA

  • April 20, 2016 Meeting Minutes Page 2.
  • District adopts “Best Practices with Wi-Fi stating:
  • “Turn off the device when not in use and at the end of each day.  If device is to stay on, turn Wi-Fi off when not in use. Always place device on a solid surface.Viewing distance should be a minimum of 12 inches from the screen.Staff was asked by the Principals to post this in areas that contain computers and devices. They are reminding staff to follow it.”

2016 Italy: Mayor of Borgofranco d’Ivrea (Italy) orders Wi-Fi to be turned off in schools.

2016: Rotokawa School New Zealand, implemented steps to minimize RF Exposure

  • Children use ipads in flight mode on desk and parents may request that their child use an Ethernet cord. Children are taught about the health precautions as part of their cyber citizenship.

Denmark Schools that have removed or reduced wireless exposure

Bjedstrup elementary School og Børnehus, (school and kindergarten) Student must hand over cell phones before classes + no wifi in school premises

Hammer Free Private School – all internet connections are hard wired

Vejlernes private school – no wifi

Kastanjely kindergarten – no wifi

2016: Istituto Comprensivo Alighieri- Diaz in Lecce Italy Banned Wifi

  • Official resolutions number 1 and Resolution 2
  • Their two resolutions decided: a) to ban wifi in school and install a wired system for the use of internet and b) Reject the request of the local government (Municipality) to install  an antenna on the school roof for the wireless signal providing for the “Wireless city” program. The resolution also asks the Municipality to install the antenna at a reasonable distance from school.

2016: The Piemonte Region has adopted a resolution to limit EMF exposure

  • Original Resolution
  • Resolution limits the use of wifi in schools and is considerate to the problem of EHS people.

2015: Ashland Public Schools, Mass (USA)  

Ashland is the first school district to vote to enact “Best Practices” in classrooms and publicly post these instructions which include turning off Wi-Fi when not in use and keeping devices in a table, not a lap

News article on these “Best Practices” to turn the WiFi off when not in use,

2016: Shearwater The Mullumbimby Steiner School, Australia, 100% Wi-Fi Free School

2016: Yallingup Steiner School Australia , WiFi Free Classrooms

2016: Linuwel School , Australia ,WiFi in some classrooms, Can accommodate children with EHS.

2016: Cairns Hinterland Steiner School , Australia, WiFi Free Classrooms (may be available in other areas)

2016: Wild Cherry School, Australia , 100% Wi-Fi Free

2015: St. Cajetanus School, Belgium: Wired Internet installed and wireless removed.

2015: Washington Waldorf School, Maryland, USA: Removed Wi-Fi Routers from Buildings, Ethernet installed. WAMU Report on Wi-Fi removal featuring the Head of School

2015: Freshwater Creek School, Australia, 100% Wi-Fi Free

2015: London, Acorn School: Screen Free. Read News article

2015: Lorien Novalis School, Australia, 100% Wi-Fi Free School Preschool to 12th grade.

2015: Cairns Hinterland School, Australia, WiFi Free Classrooms for EHS

2014: Acorn Hill School, Maryland: Reducing exposure to Wi-Fi. In process.

2014: Friends Community School: Wi-Fi turned off in wing for lower elementary school students. WiFi routers moved OUT of classrooms into hallways for older grades to reduce EMF exposure. Ethernet wires made available in classrooms for families who want children on corded (not wireless) computers.

2014: DearCroft Montessori: Hardwired internet to younger grades, limited Wi-Fi Router exposure to older grades.

2014: Portland Waldorf School, Portland Oregon,USA, WiFi removed.

2014: Meeting House Montessori, Braintree Massachusetts, USA, WiFi replaced with ethernet.

2014: Ghent, Belgium,  Wi-fi banned from pre-schools and day care.

2014: UPPER Sturt Primary School, Australia. Read article.  Read “No WIFI” LOW EMF School Policy.

2014: The St. Augustine School in Italy turned off Wifi and goes back to Wires.

2013 Winlaw Elementary School, B.C. Canada turned off WiFi.

2013 Te Horo Primary School New Zealand Replaced WIFI with cable-based internet.

2013 Kootenay Lakes District School Board BC (One school without Wi-Fi)

2013 Blaise-Cendrars High School, Switzerland. Teachers vote to remove WiFi.

2012 Kivioja primary school in Ylivieska Finland bans phones and minimizes Wireless.

2012: Halton Waldorf, in Burlington Vermont: Remaining free of Wireless Radiation

2011 City of Lakes Waldorf School, WiFi taken out. Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

2011 Aurora School in Ontario removed Wifi and replaced with hardwired.

2011 North Cariboo Christian School in Quesnel, B.C., removed Wi-fi .

2011 Pretty River Academy in Ontario no WiFi.

2011 Wayside Academy, Peterborough, Ontario no Wi Fi.

2010 Surrey, BC Roots and Wings Montessori removed Wi-Fi.

2010 Ontario St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school: Parents voted to turn off Wi-Fi.

2009 HEROUVILLE-SAINT-CLAIR wi-fi networks removed.

Cell Phone Bans in Schools

This list covers bans of cell phones that occurred after the schools found cell phones in classrooms to be distracting and problematic. It is not necessarily because of the radiofrequency and health issues. This is not a complete list but rather a list as stories make the news starting in 2017. Hyperlinks goto news source

Victoria Middle School: Canada

France: Cell Phones totally banned in schools for students up to 14  years old. The ban includes hallways, playgrounds and in between classes.  Read more about French policy here and read the 2017 news article in Le Monde  “No More Phones in Schools and Colleges here” here. The policy will be in place by September 2018.

Israel: Cell Phones were BANNED in  Israel School Classrooms in 2016. Read more here.

Victoria Middle School, Canada, May 2017 Cellphone ban at Victoria middle school pushes the wrong buttons

Mansfield City Schools, Ohio, USA, July 2017 News article “Ohio school district bans student cell phone use.”

 

  • The first of the two new policies bans use of cell phones or other personal communication devices not only in the classroom but also before and after school, at lunch and in between classes. Unless approved by a teacher or administrator, the devices must be “powered completely off” and stored out of sight.

 Portage High in Wisconsin USA: Read the 2017 news article: Portage High bans cellphones | Principal: Policy will be a challenge for everyone and Cellphone ban at Portage High School showing positive impact

Highland Middle School, Illinois USA  Middle schools ban smartphones so students build social smarts

Collinsville IL Middle School, Illinois USA: Read “Metro-east middle school bans students from using cellphones”

Paris Maine Schools News article: Local school implements new cell phone ban

Framington Massachusetts, USA Framingham Middle Schools Ban Cell Phones For 2017-18 School Year

Lakeview High School in Battle Creek  Michigan. Read the 2016  News article, Michigan high school bans cell phones in class

Lewiston Middle School Maine USA, Read  Lewiston Middle School bans student cell phone use and also Lewiston Middle School Principal answers your questions about cell phone ban.

Corona Del Mar Middle School in Newport-Mesa Unified School District California USA 2017 News article, “At Corona del Mar Middle School, kids can’t use cellphones at lunch. The result? They talk.” Old Rochester Regional High School: Massachusetts high school bans cell phones from classrooms

The above US bans are not related to cell phone radiation issues butinstead- the way that cell phones disrupt educations.

Read more about US Schools reducing wireless radiation and schools internationally taking action. Read about PTAs and Unions Taking action on wireless. Read about Firefighters taking action on cell towers. 

 

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