ENCINITAS, Calif. – Parents in Encinitas were pulling their kids out of school because of health concerns at a charter school.
“She’s been attending this school since kindergarten,” said Sonya Goodwin, a mother. “I pulled her out of the school just after Christmas, because I have concerns about the 18 cell sites.”
Goodwin is talking about the cell phone towers at the Innovation Centre in Encinitas. The school is one of 11 institutions run by Julian Charter Schools. The Innovation Centre is located on the grounds of the Encinitas Beach Chapel. Fifteen cell antennas are located in the church’s bell tower and the rest are in the parking lot.
“Our concern is cancer – just the effects of radiation,” said Justin Boudreau, whose son Ty used to attend the third grade at the school.
Boudreau is one of 10 parents that have pulled their children from the program.
Michael Schwaebe is an engineer and environmental consultant hired to conduct a study at the school for the parents.
“I would not have my child in this school,” said Schwaebe. “The levels of radiation the levels I found were very discomforting.”
Schwaebe found high levels of radio frequency power density.
“At that level there are dozens of studies that show significant health biological effects,” said Schwaebe.
“He would like to see the readings about a million times below what FCC recommends,” said Executive Director of Julian Charter Schools Jennifer Cauzza. She calls Schwaebe’s study unrealistic.
Working together with the church and AT&T, a scientist from UC Davis was hired to conduct another study.
Cauzza said she understands parent’s concerns, but what it really comes down to is choice.
“If you cannot be here with these antennas, then you can choose another program for your children,” said Cauzza.
“I feel like it’s unfair to have to choose between keeping my daughter in an amazing community versus a health risk,” said Goodwin.
“We’ve left and that’s our decision,” said Boudreau. “Had we known that two years ago, we would not have been here to begin with.
Cauzza said the Encinitas site is only temporary.
“We’re looking for a permanent site, but for now with such little real estate choices along the coast, it had to be the church.
Pastor Larry Peltier told Fox 5 the cell antennas have been at the church for the last 15 years and he has never received on complaint.
Fox 5 checked into Chula Vista, San Diego Unified, Poway and various other school districts, officials told us no cell phone sites are on any school grounds.