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Take Down the Washington Elementary Cell Tower

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In 2017, Catalyst Network Services, at the behest of T-Mobile, reached out to the Wyandotte (Michigan) School District to gauge interest regarding the installation of a new cell phone tower on the roof of Washington Elementary School. After nearly a year of negotiation, a proposal was made to the Board of Education at the time for entry into the lease agreement. The terms of the lease provide the District with $1,000.00 per month, and $150.00 for utilities in exchange for use of the chimney on Washington Elementary School for a cell phone tower. If T-Mobile exercises its options, the tower could remain on top of the school for several decades.

The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, staff, and surrounding community were NOT considered in our school District's decision to enter into the T-Mobile lease. AT BEST, we don't know what we don't know about the adverse health effects of radiofrequency waves of 5G cell towers. The most compelling research on the topic of acceptable radiofrequency levels comes from T-Mobile itself. The Environmental Health Trust (which successfully sued the FCC) pulled a 2000 Ecolog Institute Report commissioned by T-Mobile. In it, independent researchers recommended an exposure limit 1,000 times lower than the FCC’s current power density limit after reviewing the research on biological effects, including impacts on the immune system, central nervous system, hormones, cancer, neurotransmitters and fertility. This is obviously not the information that is being shared with school districts like ours when T-Mobile requests to place a cell phone tower on top of an elementary school.

We have been advised that due to parts shortages and COVID related delays, construction on the Washington cell tower did not begin for several years. In June 2022, a building permit was issued by our City Engineer to T-Mobile for the installation of a wireless communication tower. In September 2022, parents of students at Washington Elementary School received a letter from the school superintendent advising that construction was set to begin on the tower. Unfortunately, we as parents did not understand the implications of what would be transpiring until construction began. Once we laid eyes on the tower, we realized this was no small project.

A large group of parents has now vocally opposed the cell tower. On February 14, 2023, we attended a Board of Education meeting to express our concerns. We followed that with attendance at a meeting of the Mayor and City Council on February 27, 2023. At both meetings, we requested further review, a pause on the tower becoming operational, and a meeting with City and District leadership.

A meeting was scheduled by the Board of Education at Washington Elementary School on March 2, 2023. This meeting as it was covered by several metro Detroit news outlets. It was not productive, and several members of the community expressed their concerns vocally throughout the proceeding. While I do not necessarily agree with the tact of many of the concerned parents in attendance, I can certainly understand their frustration. We came to the meeting to express our concerns and have our questions answered. Instead, we were asked to sit for what amounted to a seminar in which our Superintendent and City Business Manager planned to provide us with information supplied by T-Mobile regarding how safe the tower is, and how the District arrived at the decision to enter into the aforementioned lease agreement. This was not taken well, and if anything, we are further from a resolution than when we began this process.

We have been told that the decision as to whether to turn on the tower is now out of the School District's hands, and rests completely with T-Mobile. This is especially troubling because the tower violates both state and local laws in where it is located. The District hopes that we will get tired of fighting with them and will go away. THAT IS NOT HAPPENING.

In the short time that we have endeavored in this process, we have heard from parents, students, teachers, staff members, and surrounding community members who are all deeply concerned about how we got to where we are at today and where we can go from here. No one wants our kids to be test subjects when at best, the science on this technology tells us that we don’t know what we don’t know at the moment. We currently have a Facebook group with over 600 members, as well as a petition for the removal of the tower with nearly 2,500 signatures on it.

Unfortunately, the issue will not be resolved at the school District or City level without a Judge intervening. We are seeking your help and have established this fundraiser as a legal defense fund. We are hoping to raise enough funds to take on the school District, City, Board of Education, and T-Mobile in getting the tower removed from our children's elementary school. I hope that you will donate what you can to this worthy cause, and share this fundraiser with anyone and everyone that you think might be able to help us. Thank you!


  • Melissa Waara
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Jack Hirsch
    • $10 
    • 11 mos
  • Helen Walker
    • $25 
    • 1 yr
  • Philip Schuck
    • $10 
    • 1 yr
  • Brian Mendenhall
    • $150 
    • 1 yr


Joshua Castmore
Wyandotte, MI

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