A cellular phone tower is pictured at Weston Elementary School in Ripon, Calif. on Tuesday March 12, 2019. Image credit JOAN BARNETT LEEJLEE@MODBEE.COM
Parents in Ripon have been fighting for a Sprint cell tower to come down for roughly two years. Kellie Prime and Monica Ferrulli have been fighting for the removal since their sons, Kyle and Mason, were diagnosed with cancer. The cell tower outside of their sons’ former school, Weston Elementary, will soon be moved.
“It’s been a very hard battle, a very hard battle. And I’m hoping we’ve reached the end of it,” mother Kellie Prime said.
“Talking to specialists in the field, scientists, our own doctors,” Ferrulli explained. “All the information that we gathered indicated that that tower could be a factor in their illness.”
While there is no proof that the tower had any impact on their cancer, these moms believe it did. Especially as more students and teachers fell ill.
They say a total of eight were diagnosed in the past couple of years.
After holding protests, and taking their concerns to the school board, Sprint now says it plans to move the cell tower.
“We do understand and respect the views of the community. We’re committed to being good neighbors,” Adrienne Norton, Sprint Corporate Communications, said.
The Ripon Unified School District echoed this message, saying in a statement:
“Ripon USD asked for multiple independent tests that have shown that the cell tower is operating safely well within standard state and federal limits. Regardless, we take the ongoing concerns seriously and want our families to feel comfortable in their school.”
There’s no timeline yet for when the tower will be moved or where it’s going.
But, these mother’s say, the sooner the better.
“We don’t want other families to have to see what we’ve seen in our children. And watch their kids fight for their lives like our children have had to do,” Prime said. “And if this helps to save one more child from getting sick, then it’s worth it to us.”
Image credit:JOAN BARNETT LEEJLEE@MODBEE.COM
3/13/2019: Parents blame school’s cell tower after 4th elementary student diagnosed with cancer https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/parents-blame-school%E2%80%99s-cell-tower-after-4th-elementary-student-diagnosed-with-cancer/ar-BBUImqz
RIPON, California – Four children have been diagnosed with cancer at Weston Elementary School in San Joaquin County, California. Monica Ferrulli talked to KOVR.“We had a doctor tell us that it’s 100 percent environmental, the kind of tumor that he has,” Monica said.
Monica’s son Mason was the second child to be diagnosed with cancer in just 3 years. He received treatment, then relapsed and is currently undergoing brain cancer treatments. Joe Prime’s son Kyle was the first, diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2016. And two more kids were diagnosed this year. “It just seems like coincidence is no longer a reason for all this illness,” Prime said. They believe it’s this cell phone tower that’s harming their kids.
The district has had several tests done saying the tower is safe and meets federal regulations.
Image credit: JOAN BARNETT LEEJLEE@MODBEE.COM
Mar 14, 2019: Parents push to get cell tower removed from Ripon school https://www.kcra.com/article/cell-tower-ripon-school/26823085
Transcript of the video in the above link:
MELINDA MEZA EXPLAINS. MELINDA: MONICA FERRULLI SAYS IT HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE THE LAST TWO YEARS. HER 12-YEAR-OLD SON WAS 10 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BRAIN CANCER. HE HAD A 14 HOUR SURGERY AND 33 ROUNDS OF RADIATION. MELINDA: HE WAS THE SECOND CHILD FROM WESTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL RIPON TO BE DIAGNOSED IN 2017, AND THAT IS WHEN SHE LEARNED THERE WAS A CELL TOWER ON CAMPUS >> HE HAD TO LEARN TO WALK AND TALK AND EAT EVERYTHING ALL OVER AGAIN.
MELINDA: JUST LAST WEEK IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT TWO MORE CHILDREN WERE DIAGNOSED FOR A TOTAL OF FOUR CHILDREN, PLUS THREE TEACHERS. PARENTS ARE NOW DEMANDING THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT REMOVE THE TOWER. MANY OF THE PARENTS WE TALKED WITH WHO LIVE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AND ATTENDED THE MEETING SAY THEY ARE UPSET AND CONCERNED, CITING THAT THIS TOWER IS LOCATED JUST FEET AWAY FROM SOME OF THE CLASSROOMS. SOME PARENTS PULLED THEIR KIDS FROM SCHOOL.
ON MONDAY, 200 STUDENTS WE ABSENT, AND ABOUT 200 PARENTS PACKED THE RIPON SCHOOL BOARD MEETING THAT NIGHT. >> JUST THE SIMPLE FACT THAT IT IS CLASSIFIED AS A CARCINOGEN AT ALL SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR THE DISTRICT TO NOT WANT ON CAMPUS IN FRONT OF OUR YOUNG CHILDREN WHO ARE AS YOUNG AS FOUR YEARS OLD.
MELINDA: FERRULLI SAYS THE DISTRICT HIRED A SPECIALIST TO CHECK THE ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION EXPOSURE AND SENT THIS LETTER SAYING IT IS WITHIN A SAFE RANGE. HOWEVER, A GROUP OF PARENTS HIRED THEIR OWN EMF SPECIALIST WHO FOUND THE RADIATION EXPOSURE TO BE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN WHAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOUND.
THE BOARD PRESIDENT ISSUED A STATEMENT. STUDENT SAFETY IS ALWAYS THE PRIMARY CONCERN FOR ALL OF US. WE UNDERSTAND A FEW RIPON CHILDREN HAVE UNFORTUNATELY BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH DIFFERENT FORMS OF CANCER- THERE IS NO LEGAL CONTRACTUAL BASIS ON WHICH THE DISTRICT CAN DEMAND THE CELL PHONE COMPANY REMOVE THE TOWER >> WE DO NOT KNOW 100% IF THAT IS CAUSING THE CANCER BUT WE DO NOT KNOW 100% THAT IT IS NOT. MELINDA: THE DISTRICT MOVES THE CELL TOWER TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND AWAY FROM THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS. IN RIPON, MELINDA MEZA,
JUNE 19, 2017:
Furrelli is the mother of 11-year-old Mason, a soon to be sixth-grader at Weston Elementary in Ripon. Mason was diagnosed with ependymona cancer in January and had to have a tumor removed from his brain.Mason isn’t the only one who beat cancer at his school.
In August of 2016, 10-year-old Kyle Prime was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor, a few days later it was removed, and like Mason, both kids then spent months receiving chemotherapy.Parents of both kids don’t know for certain why the two got cancer, but they do have a hunch.
In 2009 Weston Elementary installed a cell phone tower on school grounds.