Wall Street Journal: Parents Pushing Back Against Tech in Classrooms. Smart!

September 7, 2019:  Just in time for Back to School, the Wall Street Journal published a good article about technology in classrooms:  “Schools Pushed For Tech in Every Classroom.  Now Parents are Pushing Back.”

Parents from around the country are demanding proof that screens and technology are indeed helping children and they are also demanding limits on screen time.

The article states how Baltimore County, Maryland public schools replaced textbooks with laptops for all students from kindergarten to 12th grade and despite the investment, academic results have slipped in the district.

Veteran Teachers Say Children are Hampered by Devices

“It has hampered their ability to think on their own,” said Ms. Birdwell, a 58-year-old teacher of 20 years. “They don’t know how to calculate basic math functions in their minds. They are being mentally crippled by these things.”

Veteran teachers are also reporting the inability of children to concentrate and memorize.

Parental Control Being Undermined

Free-time in the classroom should NOT include more screen time.  Children should be outside playing.

“The school devices are undermining parents’ struggle to limit screen time. They say their children find ways at school to bypass their schools’ internet filters and can find their way onto YouTube exposing them to X-rated and violent content. They can kill time in class by shopping online or playing games.”

Gates and Jobs Limited Their Kids’ Tech Use

What’s interesting is that the WSJ article mentioned Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, proponents of technology in school classrooms.  However, the article fails to state that Gates and Jobs seldom let their own children play with the very products they helped to create.  Shouldn’t that be a red flag for parents and schools?  Also, Silicon Valley parents limit their kids’ screen time and opt for tech-free schools?  Sound the alarm bells! 

San Mateo High School in California now requires that students’ cell phones be locked up during the day to reduce distractions. 

Wireless Technology Proven to Cause Biological Harm

Also lacking in the WSJ piece is the biological harm caused by wireless technology.  All wireless technology sends and receives data through two-way manmade microwave radiation (wireless radiation), including cell phones, WiFi, tablets, laptops, smartboards, classroom access points, cell towers, 4G/5G-enabled “small” cell antennas, air buds, home assistants, wireless baby monitors, etc. 

More and more, parents are becoming aware of the growing body of independent, peer-reviewed and published science proving biological harm from current 2G/3G/4G wireless radiation exposure such as:  increased cancers in children and adults, DNA damage, infertility and miscarriage, headaches, tinnitus, heart irregularities, endocrine (hormonal) effects, lack of concentration, memory and cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, insomnia, fatigue, nosebleeds, nausea, dizziness, anxiety/depression, suicidal ideation, and more.

Isn’t Our Government Protecting Children?

No! Current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines governing public exposure to RF radiation are obsolete.  They were developed in 1996 before we had WiFi and cell towers everywhere. Long before most everyone, including many children, had a cell phone. Long before schools filled classrooms with WiFi and wireless technology.

The FCC guidelines only address the thermal (heat) impact which boils down to how much radiation it would take to heat the skin. The limits are very high and they do not address the much lower non-thermal impacts that come with use of today’s devices. FCC compliance testing utilizes a model of a 220-pound male fake head and does not consider the higher radiation absorption in fetuses, children and women.

In fact, a recent Chicago Tribune investigative piece revealed that many cell phones exceed FCC radiation exposure limits.

Children More Vulnerable

Because of their thinner skulls and developing brains and bodies, children are more vulnerable to harm from wireless radiation.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued recommendations for cell phone and wireless devices.  “They’re not toys. They have radiation that is emitted from them.”

Technology is a wonderful thing, but many feel we have gone too far.  Screen time releases dopamine and arouses pleasure, so the potential for addiction exists.  Isn’t it fair to say that our schools could be considered drug dealers? 

Time to get back to the basics — The three “Rs”— reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.

Resources for Parents

Wireless Technology Has Never Been Tested For Long-Term Safety

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