Leaders speak out about Wi-Fi safety in schools
Published Friday, September 9, 2011 8:57PM EDT
The debate over the safety of wireless Internet reached the campaign trail after an Ontario private school said on Thursday it was switching off its connections to avoid possible health concerns.
Pretty River Academy in Collingwood, Ont., a private school with 150 students attending kindergarten to Grade 12, removed Wi-Fi from campus and replaced it with a hard-wired system.
Principal Roberta Murray-Hirst said they hadn't received any complaints about the wireless connection causing problems but still decided to take the precaution.
The World Health Organization said radio frequency radiation from Wi-Fi and cellphones posed a similar health threat to DDT, lead and car exhaust.
Public health officials in Ontario have said wireless Internet posed no threat to children at schools.
Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty said on Thursday that he would not pass judgement on Pretty River's decision, but said he sided with public health officials who said Wi-Fi was safe in schools.
Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said the decision about whether to keep the connections active should be left up to individual schools.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she would like to take a closer look into whether there are health concerns associated with wireless connections.
With files from The Canadian Press