It is not uncommon today for many schools to be connected wirelessly to the internet. Children and teens are obsessed with the internet and WiFi in schools makes it easy to have access all day long.
Not that long ago, many schools used chalkboards as a means for students to learn. Now, tablets and other devices being used as learning tools are commonplace. Although this seems like it’s beneficial to the learning environment, it’s really doing more harm than good.
How Is WiFi In Schools Affecting Children?
When smartphones are used in schools as an educational tool, it’s easy for them to become a source of distraction for the student. There are so many apps and games that can easily be accessed that take away from learning time. It’s hard enough already to regulate how much time a child spends online.
Some professionals are recognizing this as such a big problem that they’re calling for smartphones to be banned in schools all together. Most of us are well aware of the fact that smartphones and tablets are a huge source of distraction, but there is another issue that is even more important.
One of the world’s leading experts in cancer studies has stated that WiFi throughout schools is posing a dangerous risk to our children. The radio waves that these devices emit can be dangerous in the same way that tobacco and asbestos are.
Even some of the top scientists are warning about the effects this type of constant exposure to radiation can have. WiFi in schools is only one of the places we should be concerned about. We are constantly being bombarded with EMF almost everywhere we go. Some like to call this electrosmog.
What Can Be Done To Reverse The Effects?
Academics are warning of a future cancer epidemic. The main groups of people at risk would be children and teens. The most logical thing to do in order to reverse or lessen the amount of WiFi in schools would be to restrict or ban WiFi as well as mobile devices.
Some nations have already taken the necessary measures to ban and restrict WiFi usage in schools. Some of these countries include France, Belgium, Spain, Israel, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. These countries recognize the harmful effects WiFi in schools can have on children, and have taken action.
Even in the United States, some school districts have begun removing WiFi from their schools. In 2017, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health And Protection Advisory Council was the first to recommend their schools to use only wired internet and reduce EMF in classrooms. In February 2018, The Santa Fe Waldorf in New Mexico removed Wi-Fi in their elementary school building and has been fully WiFi free since.
What Is The Future For WiFi In Schools?
Unfortunately, at this rate, it doesn’t appear that WiFi in schools will be going anywhere anytime soon. Even with all the scientific studies showing how harmful these signals can be for human health (especially children), WiFi use is expanding.
The EMF radiation on which WiFi depends– from sources including routers, mobile phones, and baby monitors— is orders of magnitude stronger than the natural amount of radiation life on earth evolved alongside for millions of years. WiFi is essentially a huge health experiment, given that it’s new and we don’t really know how this will affect human health in the long-term.
We can only speculate on how something like this will unfold. The massive amounts of exposure have only recently become a big problem, and negative health effects such as cancers can take decades to develop and manifest. And exceedingly little research has been done on the effects of WiFi radiation.
Children are so vulnerable to WiFi because their nervous systems are still developing. They have thinner skulls, so their brains absorb more of the radiation, increasing the risk of cancer and brain tumors. This is why WiFi in schools is such a concern. They have many decades of exposure ahead of them.
The good news is that, as time goes on, more and more schools and districts are beginning to realize the harmful effects WiFi in schools can have on children and teens.
Schools Are Banning WiFi As They Understand the Possible Dangers to the Students
A private school in Collingwood, Ontario, completely removed WiFi and installed hardwired technology. Dr. Magda Havas from the Trent School of the Environment said this is excellent news, and she wishes other schools would follow their lead. Adding to this, she said, “I understand that the teachers in the school are grateful as are the parents that their children are NOT going to be exposed to microwave radiation, a possible carcinogen.”
A school in Surrey BC also removed WIFI, saying, “although there is far from universal agreement as to the dangers of wireless technology, and there are many with vested interests in its continued use, evidence of its harmful effects is extensive and widespread. The default position must, therefore, be on the side of safety.”
France passed a national law banning WiFi in nursery schools.
Following the same footsteps, Russia set new health and safety regulations and banned WiFi and smartphones for distance learning. The new rules for digital school and computer learning at home contain the following:
- A ban on WiFi and wireless Internet connections for primary school.
- A ban on smartphones for purposes of education.
- Recommendation to use books for home study, not computers.
- Advice against locating mobile network base stations (cell towers) on school grounds.
And in 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 1815, which concluded that there was sufficient proof of the potentially harmful effects of EMF on the environment and human health. The council recommended to all member states of the EU to “take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, particularly the exposure of children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours.”
Resolution 1815 has been adopted by a number of European cities.
Numerous other schools have banned the use of WiFi, according to a report by wifiinschools.com. And, many are following the same footsteps.
Protecting Our Future: Best Practices For Schools
The best practice to keep our children safe is to take the appropriate measures to reduce exposure.
The Environmental Health Trust recommends a number of best practices that can be adopted in schools globally, namely:
- A corded phone should be available in every classroom and dorm
- Devices should be kept in airplane mode, with all antennas off (including Bluetooth, cell service and Wi-Fi)
- Laptops and computers should be connected via ethernet cable instead of wireless internet
- Computer peripherals should be wired (no wireless mice, keyboards, headsets, etc.)
- Schools should implement a cell phones off policy, applicable in classrooms, hallways and playgrounds
- There should be no cell towers mounted on or near school property
- Tablets can be used in airplane mode with pre-downloaded programs and ethernet-only connections
- All fixed classroom devices such as printers, projectors, and electronic whiteboards should be hardwired
- There should be ethernet plugs available in all rooms
Finally, they recommend community education as an important step in keeping children safe and healthy in a tech-driven world. This would include things like regular digital safety education as part of the curriculum, and posters on how to reduce radiation that can be hung on classroom walls.
Adhering to the above guidelines means that devices in schools can still be used for learning, they should simply be used in the safest way possible – for example, being hardwired and/or used with pre-downloaded apps to avoid unnecessary EMF exposure. This would allow for schools to still be innovative and up-to-date on technology without putting children’s health at increased risk.
Putting these practices into use is what will help us minimize children’s risk of developing cancer and other health conditions, even at a young age. The amount of WiFi they are exposed to in school can be avoided or greatly reduced without compromising the quality of their education.