Many people have asked me about the short speech I gave at the DeKalb Board of Education meeting in November of 2011 during the public comments portion of the meeting. So, I'm reprinting it here as a reminder to everyone that the school board elections are right around the corner.
If you do not know whether or not a candidate or incumbant would vote in favor or against a cell tower at your child's school or next to your home, I suggest you find out before deciding whether or not that person should be able to represent you.
My wife and I have been speaking out against cell towers on school grounds since one was proposed for our child's school last year. After it was removed from consideration, we remained involved because we felt it was not right for these towers to be placed at any school in any part of our county.
Unfortunately, efforts made to ban the towers completely left us with a "non-binding advisory referendum" on the upcoming ballot. While they call it an "advisory" referendum, you know that means it will likely be used to determine which areas of DeKalb will be the best places for them to try putting up the next round of towers once the first 8 go up. (Smoke Rise, Briarlake, ML King High, Princeton, Narvie J. Harris, Margaret Harris, Jolly, Flat Rock.)
There will be a question on the July 31 ballot about this issue. It will ask you if the DeKalb School system should "place or operate telecommunications towers" at any public or charter school. WE hope you will agree that putting children at risk from a health and safety standpoint should never be an option, no atter how deserate the county is for money. You are urged to vote NO!
Please vote NO to "telecommunications towers" at any public school and warn others aabout the importance of showing up to vote July 31, or your school or neighborhood might be next!*****************************
PUBLIC COMMENT MADE DURING NOVEMBER 2011 BOE PUBLIC MEETING:
I would be cordial and greet you here tonight, but I know you guys don’t want to hear from me, but here it goes again. It makes me sick that I even have to come up here and talk about cell towers. As a father, it makes me sick to tell my daughter that her life would be at risk, whether you guys believe it or not.
You guys seem to think that it doesn’t show any risk factors. But, I’m also a physical therapist and I work in a bone marrow unit and I work with leukemia patients every day. Come in to my work if you don’t think something like this exists. Picture one of your loved ones sitting in that bed. They can’t do anything, frail and weak. They didn’t ask for it. But, for some reason you guys think it is okay to expose children to this? I don’t get it.
I was also a boxer. I have been in hundreds of fights. And every time I think of what you guys have done, it feels like someone sucker punched me from behind. And. I feel that way every day I have to think about this.
I got in my truck the day we found out. I got in my truck and went to my neighbors with pen and paper and got signatures. I said, “Did anybody tell you that this was going on?” Not a single person knew. Not a single one. And we came and we told you guys that and you said, “Oh we haven’t seen any factors that we would think it would be dangerous.
B.S. There is a dirty little secret and we are going to uncover it. You are not going to get away with it. I promise you that. Again, it makes me sick that I even have to bring this up. The fact that we’ve been lied to by our principal. Let’s just talk about notification. Our principal said, “We didn’t know anything. We were just told to put the information in the children’s backpacks…. in my three year old’s backpack, isn’t that pleasant? That’s a sweet thing in pre-K.
SO…. We go to the principal and she says, “We didn’t know.” So we go to the PTA and they say “We didn’t know.” And at first they are all up and arms about it and then they say, “We can’t take a stand on issues like this.” So we are left in the dark. So, we have to continue to seek the answers.
Not a single person has told me, not a single person, a positive that is coming out of this. Except, “Oh, the schools are going get money.” $25,000 hush money for the PTA? That’s not acceptable. The cost of somebody’s bone marrow transplant doesn’t cover the cost of a single payment that we will ever get. I don’t get it. And, God forbid… (pause)… I don’t ever want to wish any illness on anybody, but again, come in to my work, step one foot in the bone marrow transplant unit and I guarantee you will rip those cell towers out of there.
(to the board) Bad people... It’s not nice.
****************************************** end public comment
To watch the video of this and other protesters from the School Board Meeting last Novemer, go to: http://view.liveindexer.com/ViewIndexSessionSLMQ.aspx?indexSessionSKU=MekWaHPZMrYBy4Wd4iUaZQ==
For more details, go to: www.GETtheCELLoutATL.org. And, to learn about school board candidates who oppose cell towers on school grounds, you can also "like" us on Facebook.