Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gaithersburg Parent: "rolling out technology in our schools must be done with health and safety oversight" @DelegateKaiser @SenatorZucker @CherylKagan @JheanelleW @delsheilahixson @EricLuedtke

From: Lisa Cline
Date: Wed, Feb 15, 2017
Subject: HB866 is Overdue.

Dear Delegate Arentz,

Too many of us do not fully understand how legislation becomes law and what you do in Annapolis during each a session. I am no different, but I would hate for intimidation to get in the way of expressing my deep passion for passing HB866

As a parent and PTA president in Montgomery County and an active advocate for shielding children from a.) things they cannot see (like wifi radiation and blue light), and b.) things they should not have to understand at such a young age, HB866 will change everything for our children during the 6+ hours they "live" at school.

The beauty of HB866 is there is nothing objectionable in it. There is no downside. 

Computers are arguably very valuable 21st Century learning tools, particularly for those who need an extra push to engage in the learning process. But rolling out technology in our schools must be done with health and safety oversight. Montgomery County Public Schools, for one, lacks that overseeing body. 

I have met with Mr. Sherwin Collette, Chief Technology Officer at MCPS. I have spoken with Dr. Andy Zuckerman, Chief Operating Officer at MCPS. I have asked officials within County government.... "Who is making sure these computers aren't hurting the kids?" I have yet to find a person, or an admission, that our childrens' health is being protected from the ill effects of computer use. Meanwhile, radon is being measured and mitigated, and pesticide use is being fully disclosed and carefully deployed. 

The known dangers.

There are over 400 peer-reviewed studies that say RF radiation — the kind emitted from laptop computers and overhead routers — causes everything from nausea and headaches to DNA damage and cancer.

Our daughter died of cancer. After her death, I was asked to participate in a study out of the University of Minnesota that analyzed environmental factors surrounding pediatric leukemia cases. It was then that I realized just how many invisible pollutants swirl around our children and how much more vulnerable a population they are than adults. RF radiation is a definite culprit.

The effects of blue light on our childens' eye health is even more conclusive. Retinal damage is inevitable without proper protection. Blue light filters cost about $20. Why wouldn't we outfit all the Chromebooks with these safety mechanisms?

Digital addiction is an undeniable reality that is befalling the Computer Generation. Device use affects the brain much like cocaine. Any parent of teenagers will tell you how real this is. And the research is deep.

Now what?

I don't blame anyone for the severe lack of "tech health" being taught in our schools. It's all so new. But now is the time to complement the technology roll-out with safety measures to go with it. 

Please pass HB866 for the kids who are counting on us, and the parents who are counting on you.

Very kindly,

Lisa Cline
Gaithersburg, Maryland

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