New Zealand Fathers Win Against Local School Wi-Fi After Boy Dies from Brain Cancer

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By Reissa Su | December 30, 2013 2:17 PM EST

Two fathers in New Zealand won the fight against Wi-Fi in schools after leading a campaign to remove wireless access in the classroom. David Bird and Damon Wyman urged the Te Horo School to allow Internet access using a cable connection. Wi-Fi has been linked to cancer and other health problems in some studies.

Mr Wyman told TVNZ that health professionals, as well as the school board, have expressed their concern of Wi-Fi exposure to students inside the classroom. The school board has decided to replace Wi-Fi with cable-based Internet in junior classrooms to alleviate health concerns. However, Wi-Fi will still remain in senior classrooms based on a survey of parents who were consulted about the issue.

Despite reports of Wi-Fi being linked with cancer, the New Zealand government believes Wi-Fi is safe.

In a statement, the government based its views on the matter using information taken from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and "other submissions." The government believes that Wi-Fi in classrooms is not a risk to the health of students and staff.

Mr Bird and Mr Wyman consider the removal of Wi-Fi in junior classrooms a victory and declared they will continue to campaign for a total removal of wireless Internet access at Te Horo School.

Mr Wyman's son, Ethan Wyman, died 11 months after doctors diagnosed him with two brain tumours. The death of the boy prompted a Kapiti Coast school to conduct a survey about what parents think of Wi-Fi in schools. The board of trustees has sent the survey to all parents after the Wymans told them about the risk of radiation from Wi-Fi. A recent study has shown the effect of radiation from Wi-Fi may be associated with cancer.

Damon Wyman, father of Ethan, said his son was diagnosed with brain tumours three months after the boy was given an iPod with a Wi-Fi connection. The parents found out later on that their son had been sleeping with the iPod under his pillow. Mr Wyman explained that even if the device was on standby, the iPod was still giving off bursts of radiation as it tried to connect to a router.

According to doctors who examined the boy, the tumours were estimated to be four months old. Mr Wyman's son died at the age of 10, only less than a year of his diagnosis.

Mr Wyman remarked he did not say it was the Wi-Fi that caused the death but "it seems like a bit of coincidence" since most parents are cautious about giving their young children a mobile phone. He said having a Wi-Fi connection in the classroom is exposing about 30 children to the same thing.

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