WiFi + Schools = Parents Gone Wild

Irrational Conspiracy Theories Taking Root in Ontario

WiFi + Schools = Parents Gone Wild


WiFi is being installed in Peterborough schools this Fall and the chicken little's of the world are letting school boards have it.  It's a case of "here we go again."

Parents erupted in shouts of anger over and over again during a meeting held Monday to explain the public board's plan to install wireless internet in schools.

"This is a sham," said Keith Burgess. "This is not about answering questions. This is about making money."

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board schools superintendent Catherine Foy, who moderated the meeting, repeatedly told the audience at the Queen Mary Public School auditorium the meeting was meant to address the science behind Wi-Fi, not to discuss board policies.

All public board schools will be equipped with Wi-Fi by fall, she said.

A panel that included two scientists, the board's chief information officer and the local medical officer of health was there to explain that Wi-Fi is safe, Foy said.[source]

The sensational headlines and parents gone wild aren't new. This was national news for a spell last summer when parents started pulling their kids out of school because they said the school’s open WiFi network was making their children sick.

Parents on the Simcoe County Safe School committee say kids in 14 local schools are showing varying problems they fear are caused by microwaves.
Rodney Palmer says the symptoms seem to disappear on weekends and the parents know there’s no evidence showing WiFi is safe at the levels the kids are being exposed to.
He says no one has ever exposed children to microwave radiation for 13-years, starting at four years old, which he describes as an “experiment” that is underway in schools. [source]


WiFi is ubiquitous. 

Drive down any street, sit in any cafe and open up your scanner and you’ll be bombarded with channels you could join.  Office buildings, with many unique companies sharing floors and towers, blast out WiFi signals for their staff.  In our homes, we often have a local network blasting WiFi from our desktop so we can access the web on notebooks, iPads, iPods and phones.

So why is it that the kids are getting sick?

Susan Clarke, a former research consultant to the Harvard School of Public Health, says young children absorb much more radiation than older children and adults because of their thinner skulls.
Professor Magda Havas of Trent University in Peterborough, who does research on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation, says she is “increasingly concerned” about WiFi use at schools. [source]

The twittersphere has an entirely different opinion:

@shireenj One of my neighbours took a count a few years ago. 120 networks in my neighbourhood, several come thru my walls.

@anthonyfloyd Cell signals are 100x more powerful than WiFi. WiFi is ubiquitous in so many places you'd have tonnes of sick ppl all the time. The evidence is overwhelming by its absence. Millions of *Canadians* get 100% daily exposure to multiple WiFi nets w/o any prob.  My laptop currently reports 15 WiFi nets in range (at home), and work (UBC) has similar number.

@starbuckly science works, it's when we fail to apply it that we get led down the rabbit hole. Does it make you or your family sick, or is it a case of kids trying to pull a fast one?

As @andrewmacintyre responded “Mom, the wifi at school is making me sick so I have to stay home and play xbox, OK?”

I’d be curious to know your experiences with WiFi.  Does your school have it? Do you have one at home? Does your office have it? Do you sip coffee in cafes? Do you live in a city or the country?


Not That Kind Of Sleepover!

Would You Let Your Teen Have a Sleep Over for Sex?

Not That Kind Of Sleepover!

twilight kiss

Teens have sex.  It's true. We don't want to visualize it, we don't want to imagine it, but it happens.

I was 17 my first time. My fun was had outside my parent's home, however one time my mom and dad came home early from church and saw my girlfriend's car in the driveway.  They quietly came upstairs and opened my bedroom door.

You don't want to know what they saw.

It happens. Teens are having sex and now parents are wanting to let them have sex in the home so they can control safety and promiscuity. 

It's just like the parents who will host the house parties for their kids; they're going to drink anyway, might as well do it in a safe environment. Right?

I'm all for empowering kids with knowledge and being there to walk them through the tough decisions in life. I fully endorse parents letting kids on Facebook at an early age so that tech savvy kids can be raised. My argument for that was "they're going to do it anyway, they might as well do it with you by their side."

But when it comes to the more titillating topics, like sex and drugs and booze, my constitution wavers.

My ex-wife's daughter was 14-18 when we were together.  I saw her grow from an awkward girl in oversized hoodies to hide her body into a designer bag loving teen who could never find shorts short enough or tank tops tight enough. It was in grade 11 when she got her first serious boyfriend and my ex-wife would allow the boyfriend to sleep over.

It wasn't my choice, but it wasn't my say. I can't fully describe what it's like to knock on your step-daughter's door on a Saturday morning to invite a couple of teens downstairs for breakfast.

I'm 14 years away with having to deal with this scenario with my young boys now, and I'm guessing by 2025 this sort of permissive parenting will be widespread.

What's your take? Are your teens having sleepovers?


Are You Being the Best Parent?

5 Minutes to a Better Life

Are You Being the Best Parent?

If you've never seen a TED Talk before, now is the time to get the site, the app, the videos into your daily routine. TED Talks are smart and inspirational stories that will feed your brain.

My wife passed me this one this week. It's from Ric Elias. He was sitting in the front row of the plane that crashed in the Hudson 2 years ago.

Please take a 5-minute break and watch.