WESLEY CHAPEL — Parents of students attending Seven Oaks Elementary have made impassioned pleas to stop a cellphone tower from rising on their children's school campus.
Their efforts prompted the Pasco School Board to delay a vote on the proposal, which is projected to bring the district $1 million over 30 years, so the parents could collect more information on the risks associated with the towers.
The issue comes back to the board on Dec. 17, and the district staff is not changing its view. The administration has again recommended approval of the land lease for the tower.
Board members could be hard-pressed to reject the deal on safety grounds, having recently approved similar agreements for other campuses. Stating that the towers carry health risks could generate protests from other corners of the county.
Worried parents say the jury is still out on the harm their children might face with the radiation that comes from a celltower, calling it a "gray area" with inconclusive research.
"Some cancers take 10, 15 or 20 years to develop. So we really do not know the long-term health effects," parent Brian Wade said at a School Board meeting last month.
Opponents say that hundreds of parents have joined a Facebook group against the tower and signed a petition against it.
District officials could cite that opposition within the community as rationale for killing the project, noting that Seven Oaks residents have stepped forth against the tower in a way that no other area has done.
Board members have said they will reserve judgment until the meeting next week.