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Johnson Elementary Cell Tower Concerns

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) A school might not be the first place youd expect to see a cell phone tower, but a proposal to put one on top of Johnson Elementary School of the Arts has some parents and doctors worried about the possible effects.

"We're putting this tower on a school, where there are 4-year olds there for pre-school, said Pediatrician Dr. Sharon Collins.

"I personally feel that it would be the best thing for it to not go on the school, said Johnson Elementary School Parent Lisa Geissler.

The concern for Dr. Collins is that cell phone technology is so new and constantly changing, that we dont know the long-term effects 30 to 40 years down the road. The debate about the tower now reminds her about when her fellow doctors would smoke cigarettes while they cared for patients.

"And at that time, I was laughed at because I said, "Cigarette smoke is dangerous, why are we doing this?" said Collins.

Dr. Collins says she hopes that in 30 years, we dont look back at these towers the same way that we do at smoking. For parents, their childrens health hangs in the balance, but none of the studies have followed subjects for long enough to determine if there are any long-term negative effects.

"There's really nothing out there to tell us whether it is or whether it isn't and that for me is the stopping point, when you can't tell me yes or no, said Geissler.

But residents who live near Wilson and Roosevelt Middle Schools, where there are already similar towers, arent so worried. Casey Myers lives a block away from Johnson and he says hes actually looking forward to the better cell service.

"I've heard that other schools have had it and there haven't been any issues. And as far as health concerns, I'm not too concerned about it, said Myers.

The district held an information meeting last Tuesday to field questions from the parents about the proposal. Theyll decide on Monday night if theyll go ahead with the project.
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