Germantown residents protest cell phone tower installation near elementary school

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Mar. 18, 2019 at 10:16 PM CDT
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GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC) - Germantown families are fighting a new addition set to come to a city elementary school.

“I’m just really shocked that they would consider putting these kids at risk,” said Jennifer Bell.

This is Bell’s daughter’s first year at Dogwood Elementary and it may be her last if a proposed cellphone tower is constructed.

A city of Germantown spokesperson told WMC that “the proposed cell tower was brought forth to help fill coverage gaps in the dogwood school area for citizens and emergency services.”

Bell fears that it might make her daughter sick.

“I don't want her exposed to that level of radio frequency radiation for five days a week, nine months a year,” Bell said. “That's lot of radiation.”

She’s not alone. Since Sunday, more than 260 people have signed a petition to move the proposed cell tower.

According to the map, the tower would be just under 150 feet away from the elementary campus.

“This is what keeps me up at night is they may actually put this tower next to this school,” said Robbie Davis, whose grandson attends Dogwood.

She's done plenty of research on potential dangers of cell towers, including the so-called "cancer cluster" at an elementary school in Ripon, California.

According to Sacramento television station KOVR, a cellphone tower was built on campus there. Since 2017, there have been four students and three teachers who have gotten a cancer diagnosis.

There has been an overwhelming push to remove that school's tower.

“Do we want that to be Dogwood?” Davis said. “Do we ever want to risk that being Dogwood?”

Davis recognizes that not everyone may agree with her.

In fact, the American Cancer Society says there is very little evidence to support the idea that exposure to cellphone towers can cause cancer.

The city of Germantown cited in their statement to WMC the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 excludes environmental safety and health concerns as reasons to deny local permits for cell towers.

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