Wyandotte Mich Celltower 64306dd869dcd

Superintendent resigns in Michigan district amid dispute over cellphone tower at elementary

April 7, 2023
Parents in the Wyandotte (Mich.) district objected to plans to install tower at Washington Elementary School.

The superintendent of the Wyandotte (Mich.) school district has resigned amid backlash over the installation of a cellphone tower at an elementary school.

The Detroit News reports that Catherine Cost, who has led the district for nine years, resigned after many parents protested that the tower at Washington Elementary School would threaten the health of their children.

The resignation was announced after a closed school board session. Board president Cindy Kinney and others declined to provide details about what led to the departure, which was effective immediately. Cost was not at the meeting.

Parents, grandparents and residents packed the district administration building for the meeting and many spoke during the public comments portion.

The antennas were placed on the school chimney and await activation, which prompted a group of parents to speak out in February and demand removal of the equipment.

District officials say the antennas have been analyzed and would emit radio frequency waves that are "well, well below the legal limits, and will not cause harm to children."

Dozens of parents pulled their children out of school for a day two weeks ago and marched in protest.

T-Mobile has said the tower will be activated after June 9, when school concludes for the year.

The FCC's guidelines for evaluating human exposure to RF fields, which were updated in 1996, say "Exposures exceeding the guidelines levels, however, are only likely to be encountered very close to, and directly in front of, the antennas. In such cases, precautions such as time limits can avoid exposure in excess of the guidelines. Individuals living or working within the building are not at risk."

When the guidelines were written, 5G, or fifth generation cellular technology, didn't exist.

It wasn't immediately clear when the board would publicly address the issue again.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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