Say No to Cell Tower at Brockett Elementary in Tucker, GA

As home owners, residents and parents in the Tucker community, we are uniting to protest the recent announcement that T-mobile is proposing the construction of a 150' cell tower on the property of our neighborhood elementary school, Brockett Elementary, among other schools nearby.

This petition urges the DeKalb County school board to turn down the proposal based on several factors, includiing:
1)  Non-compliance with the DeKalb County Board of Education Administrative Rule

O.C.G.A. 20-2-1160 which requires "public forums from time to time, especially when dealing with controversial issues or matters of deep community concern, to receive input from citizens on policy issues, the educational program, and school administration."
2)  Recognition of potential long term health effects due to exposure to low-level, non-cellular heating EMFs, particularly the risks posed to children;
3)  Consideration of the impact on property owners. The Federal Communications Act of 1996 states that property values and aesthetics are valid reasons for a municipality to deny zoning for a cell tower or antenna. 
4)  There is not a need for better coverage by T-mobile in this area, as stated by their own coverage maps and as evidenced by the fact that there are currently 86 cell towers and 2 pending within a 4-mile radius of the proposed site, the closest being just .5 miles away. 

We, the undersigned, would like to protest the proposal that was made by T-Mobile to our community at a meeting held at Brockett Elementary School on May 4, 2011.  
We urge you to fairly represent us and vote against the cell tower construction. The focus of our collective concern involves four areas:

First, T-Mobile has not followed proper procedures of notification to the residents in the affected area or a public forum for discussion by both sides. The parents and guardians of children at the school are not the only ones with a vested interest in the impact the proposed tower would have on the community. Therefore, we object to the improper notification. Even the notice that was given to parents of Brockett Elementary school students was vague and did not convey the true purpose of the meeting.

Second, we object to the cell tower proposal based on issues related to the health and welfare of the residents in the surrounding community including the children who attend Brockett Elementary and other schools as outlined by the cell company proposal.  The World Health Organization recently classified cellular radiation in the class 2b, possible carcinigen.

There has been much research done that indicates prolonged exposure to even at low levels of this radiation causes damage to cell tissue and DNA, and it has been linked to brain tumors, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous other serious illnesses. [1]


Children are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls, and rapid rate of growth. Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail, and pregnant women. Doctors from the United Kingdom have issued warnings urging children under 16 not to use cell phones, to reduce their exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. [2]


At the very least, we urge the school board to delay decision until the results of the study by MOBI-KIDS is completed in 2013. This international study will provide insight as to the effects of cellular use on children. http://www.mbkds.com/


Third, we wish to protest the cell tower construction based on the rights of property owners in the surrounding community. The Federal Communications Act of 1996 states that property values and aesthetics are valid reasons for a municipality to deny zoning for a cell tower or antenna.

It is our belief that the towers would create an eyesore in the community even if an attempt is made to disguise the tower as a tree. The unsightly tower along with fear of living near one would result in lower property values which, in turn, would lower the amount of property tax collected. A cost / benefit analysis has not been conducted that would take this fact into account.

And, finally, we protest based on the fact that there is not a need for better cellular coverage in our area. T-mobile lists its current strength for both voice and data at or near the strongest levels possible. The coverage can be verified for both voice and data by entering the 30084 zip code on this page:

http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/pcc.aspx

In addition, a pending merger with AT&T would significantly change the needs of T-mobile and therefore the true purpose of the agreement may not be in the best interest of the residents or the school system.  Currently, there are 89 cell towers within a 4 mile radius of Brockett Elementary School and nearly a third are owned by this telecommunications giant.
 
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We will follow this issue closely and urge our friends and neighbors to do the same. We proudly join the growing community of citizens across the country who are standing up to these assaults and helping deciding bodies such as yours to do the right thing for the students and community that lives near and supports the school.

We expect you will take the community and parent protests seriously and consider our messages carefully before rendering the best decision for the future of DeKalb and our children. Brockett Elementary has been a part of our community for 50 years. We hope it will continue to be a source of pride for us, not a reason for us to be forced to abandon our school and possibly even our homes. Please vote 'NO' against any proposal to locate a cell tower at our school, or others in our county.

Sincerely,
The concerned parents, residents, guardians, business owners, homeowners and others who have voluntarily and electronically signed this petition.
 
1 Microwave and Radio Frequency Radiation Exposure, San Francisco Medicine , Vol. 74, No 3, March 2001
2 Mobiles Risk to children, Daily Mail (U.K.), May 11, 2000

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