After 2 Ripon Children Diagnosed with Cancer,
Kids and Parents Protest Cell Tower on School Grounds
RIPON — In a colorful protest, about two dozen Weston Elementary school kids in Ripon skipped class on Wednesday and demanded that the Ripon Unified School District remove what they believe is a cancer causing agent.
“Take down that cell tower,” Kyle Prime, a cancer survivor, said.
“Having a cell phone tower on a school ground, it’s… in 2011 it was classified as a known carcinogen so that tells me that it shouldn’t be around our children,” Prime’s mother, Kellie, told FOX40.
Kyle, 11, was diagnosed with cancer last year.
“I had a Wilms’ tumor in my left kidney,” Kyle said.
Another parent, Monica Ferrulli said her 10-year-old son, Mason, was diagnosed six months later.
“I had brain cancer,” Mason said.
Both mothers said it was devastating to learn of their sons’ diagnoses. They believe the radiation from the communications tower, which was installed in 2009 on the school’s campus, may be the reason their sons got sick.
“It’s there. It’s very, very close to the buildings. The kids are there, six, seven hours a day,” Prime said.
The American Cancer Society said there is very little evidence that these towers cause cancer. Even so, Ferrulli said she has demanded answers from the school district only to remain in the dark.
“They don’t know when it’s tested, what the last radiation levels that were tested. How often it’s tested,” Ferrulli said.
We’ve called, emailed the school board and even showed up to the superintendent’s office but administrators told us she wasn’t available. No one would comment. Now, both boys are cancer free but their parents, who are fighting to keep it that way, said they might have to transfer their kids to a different school for their health.
“At this point we just have to eliminate any possible factors that could cause it to come back,” Ferrulli said.