SWL: Fay wifi suit headed to court

by beth on January 20, 2016

Local media are reporting that Fay School is headed to court over the wifi case. Last summer, news broke that a family whose son purportedly suffers from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome was suing the school.

The family claims that the wifi signals in the classroom cause physical harm for their 5th grade boy (aka “G”). The school has countered that the emissions measured far below safety regulation limits.*

In the fall, the school and family came to a temporary agreement, putting the suit on hold. Now reports indicate the agreement fell apart and the case is headed to court. 

Southborough Wicked Local posted:

According to an amended complaint submitted by G in early December, the school would only allow the family to take measurements of Wi-Fi activity during what they said would be an insufficient hour-and-a-half block in the afternoon. The family also said the school’s eventual solution was to have G connect to the Internet via an Ethernet cable while sitting a few feet away from other students in class, all of whom continued to use the Wi-Fi.

When the boy’s symptoms continued, he brought a dosimeter to measure the classroom’s Wi-Fi emissions. The readings from that device showed G’s condition worsened when the Wi-Fi signals were strongest, and subsided when they weakened, the complaint alleges.

The case is scheduled for August:

The plaintiffs are seeking $250,000.

“They’re looking forward to having their case presented to a judge,” said their lawyer John J.E. Markham II. “They think there’s a way to work out accommodations, and that there’s a lot to be learned about Wi-Fi and its potential dangers.”

Given the controversial nature of the syndrome and claims about dangers of wifi in the classroom, you can expect the case to make more headlines if it proceeds. For the full SWL article, click here.

*Fay School’s August 2015 statement claims

the combined levels of access point emissions, broadcast radio and television signals, and other RFE emissions on campus comply with federal and state safety limits by a wide margin.  Their report stated that “levels of Access Point emissions, inside the School and on the grounds, were substantially less than one ten-thousandth (1/10,000th) of the applicable safety limits (federal and state).”

1 JPD January 20, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Really “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome”? Ok, if this is the case then every time the student goes near a cell tower the symptoms should re-appear (given a certain amount of time) and perhaps be even worse than at the school.

2 Southern Breeze January 21, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Take the $250k off the table and I would have more sympathy for the individual. I realize that sometimes it is difficult to get the attention of the administration without a threat, but they are listening now.

3 SouthsideGadsdenFlyer January 21, 2016 at 4:46 PM

I guess the poor kid also can’t play Playstation, Xbox or Wii due to the wireless controllers.

4 md January 22, 2016 at 1:54 PM

The problem with this country is epitomized here in this story. Let’s leave aside for a moment that such a syndrome is not recognized in the medical field at all and for sake of the discussion assume EHS exists. If a problem/hardship develops the first response is battle to blame someone else, rather than accept ownership and make personal efforts to work beyond said hardship (take your $25k/year tuition from fay school and enroll your child somewhere else u deem to be safer; or become a vocal advocate for said disorder to garner attention – for example). Any perceived negative is always someone else’s fault in this county. Do we wonder why we spend so much on insurance; why healthcare costs are so high? Making the school endure the cost of fighting a suit – takes away from the student body as a whole. But thats ok because everyone should bear the burden of my problem! Right? With all the myriad of issues facing the town/commonwealth/country – is this really where our efforts should be?

5 louise barron January 22, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Here’s another golden example of fraudulent litigation. Fay has, according to the article made efforts to remediate the problem for “G” student. Now he is attending another school. Isn’t that the end of the story. What internet does this other school use that he is now attending. Do they use Morse code, smoke signals, or a signal lamp. Please get help for the whole family

6 M January 23, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Louise,
The Internet does not have to be wireless (WiFi), as in the above-mentioned Ethernet cable solution. The other school probably does not use WiFi everywhere, and thus was better able to accomodate the family.

7 M January 23, 2016 at 1:43 PM

We should not make assumptions about the family’s intentions regarding a settlement although it is tempting to do so. Did the school respond quickly and with sympathy? Did they offer the family a refund on their tuition? Were their other siblings at the school and thus a bigger logistic and uncomfortable issue? Did the child lose a year of progress and/or suffer from being stigmatized.

For Fay School’s view, this is not a recognized illness as yet, and any attempts to accomodate should be applauded since most students and families would think WiFi was a valuable asset in a private school with these tuition costs. The reality is that WiFi is now everywhere in public areas and the family is being unreasonable to think only Fay is responsible. If this family were limited to a public school option, I doubt a suit would have been possible until public heatlh officials recognize the condition. This is where symapthy for their plight is lost.

Let’s all keep our comments civil as a new potential threat is explored, of which we know very little. It reminds me of similar threats such as peanut allergies and concussions; these were also originally dismissed.

8 Thea January 26, 2016 at 11:56 AM

Read the best available science. This is a health issue of concern for all children in schools with WiFi.
from Pub med database http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26613329
“On the one hand, there is strong evidence that long-term-exposure to certain EMF exposures is a risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and male infertility. On the other hand, the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is more and more recognized by health authorities, disability administrators and case workers, politicians, as well as courts of law. We recommend treating EHS clinically as part of the group of chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI) leading to a functional impairment (EHS), but still recognizing that the underlying cause remains the environment.”
Belyaev et al., 2015
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26613329

9 Thea January 26, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Over 13 international experts, top cancer researchers and epidemiologists- have written a Maryland School District informing them that their wireless system is harmful to the children. Over 20 countries are reducing wireless exposures and some are banning WiFi in schools.
You can read about it here on the parents blog. http://safetechforschoolsmaryland.blogspot.com/

10 sharlene smith January 27, 2016 at 11:04 AM

Thousands of studies, reiterating the same fact: there are negative biological consequences of non-ionizing radiation. Do your due diligence folks.

11 stella SAE January 27, 2016 at 2:07 PM

People need to look into where those safety limits come from. From ICNIRP, a agency that set the limits over 20 years ago. WHO recommends their limits. The same guy that set ICNIRP up also set up WHO´s own EMF- project. SO there you have conflict of interest. ICNIRP is not regulated by any country that follows their safety limits. ICNIRP members are in radiation authorities in many many countries..making sure the official safety limit is ICNIRP´s and nothing else, another huge conflict of interest.
This is just stupid and we the people have no clue this is how it works. Many scientists complain that these safety limits are completely obsolete and do not any longer protect the public. The European Parliament states no more than o.6 v/m indoors. ICNIRP states 10v/m or more are fine in children school room.
A room full of kids with wifi laptops is quite strong. Below safety limits means nothing

Previous post:

Next post: