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DPS proposes putting 5G cell towers on roughly 30 schools, and some parents aren't happy

Parents outraged because of potential health risks
Posted: 4:37 PM, Jun 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-12 19:17:27-04
Denver Public Schools superintendent search: Final community meetings this week

DENVER – We're learning more about a plan to put 5G cell towers on Denver Public Schools.

It’s a proposed idea that has outraged some parents who say these towers could put the health of kids at risk.

"My feeling is that they should not, at a minimum, go on top of public schools,” said Batya Stepelman, a parent of children at Teller Elementary. “Period."

While towers have existed for years on top of schools like Barnum Elementary and Denver School of the Arts, an agreement between DPS and telecom giants like Verizon and T-Mobile would expand the number of towers.

"There are no FCC studies about the impacts from radiation," Stepelman said.

At this time, the American Cancer Society's position is that radiofrequency waves from cell towers are not enough to break chemical bonds in DNA molecules which lead to cancer, unlike X-rays and ultra-violet rays.

Roughly 30 schools are slated for new tower installation or modifications to existing towers.

We’ve included a list of those DPS schools here .

5G is fifth generation cell technology that provides lightning quick wireless, among other things.

The agreements to place towers on schools can pay cash-strapped districts like Denver thousands.

"Getting funding for supplies and teachers and schools, I absolutely appreciate that they’re looking for other means to make any type of extra funding," Barnum parent Michelle Perez said.

But it’s the inconclusive research on the health risks of cell towers that have parents, the district and other parents at odds.

"They made assurances of safety,” Stepelman said. “They said that these towers have been researched."

"I don't think it's putting kids at risk if you don't have the data to prove it," said LeRoy Espenosa, whose niece attends Barnum Elementary.