Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MCPS Bans Cell Towers at Elementary Schools

On November 21, 2011, a Hearing Examiner for the Montgomery County Board of Appeals issued an Opinion in Case No. S-2818.  On page 40 of that Opinion, at Footnote number 19, we learn that MCPS is no longer placing cell phone/telecommunications towers on elementary school playgrounds.  

This change in MCPS standard operating procedure comes too late for Daly Elementary School (shown below), but benefits the the other 130 elementary school sites that were ripe for the picking by cell tower companies. 

Daly Elementary School playground /cell tower compound
Since the Board of Education has never taken a public vote to place a cell tower on any public school site, decisions to let a private company build a cell tower transmission facility on public school land have been made behind closed doors with little or no public notice or input.  

From this Opinion, we now know that cell phone companies are no longer free to make behind closed door deals with MCPS to build cell tower facilities on elementary school playgrounds.
Score 1 for the little kids that get to keep their playground space!


Cell tower compounds have already been installed on playgrounds/fields at the following Montgomery County Public Schools: 

Northwood HS - Silver Spring
Blake HS - Silver Spring
Einstein HS - Silver Spring 
Kennedy HS - Silver Spring
Wheaton HS - Silver Spring 
Springbrook HS - Silver Spring
Blair HS - Silver Spring
Watkins Mill HS - Gaithersburg
Daly Elementary School - Germantown*
Magruder HS - Rockville
Tilden Middle School - Rockville
Sherwood HS - Sandy Spring

Woodwards Road ES site - Gaithersburg

*The Daly ES PTA and community said no to this cell tower and Superintendent Jerry Weast signed the lease and placed the tower on the playground anyway.


  1. Congratulations Janis and everyone else in Montgomery County who have worked so hard on this issue. You are heros in your community and an inspiration to those of us who are still fighting in ours.

    Get the Cell Out - Atlanta

  2. The decision by the MCPS to ban cell tower installation at elementary schools is a step in the right direction. MPCS needs to ban installation of cell towers on all school property. Children should not be subjected, at any age group, to EMF radiation from cell towers in such close proximity. World-wide research conducted on the ill-health effects of extended EMF exposure is conclusive that their is a health risk associated with extended exposure to high intensity EMF radiation from cell towers within or equal to a 1/3 of a mile radius of the tower. Children in developmental stages are in a higher risk category because of their continuing development.

    Children have little or no influence on whether they choose to be exposed to cell tower radiation. That is the responsibility of adults to ensure safety from this kind of EMF radiation exposure to children. We have that obligation when the evidence is available to us so that we can no longer shirk responsibility by stating we did not know. Reliable research is now readily available. Regardless of the National Communication Act of 1996, which disallows rejection of a cell tower installation on health risk grounds, that standard is now known to be faulty and not reflective of reality about health risk effects. The standard needs to be changed.

    For more information, visit these websites:


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