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USA: Proces tegen Fay school over schade door WiFi aan leerling
11 maart 2016
Fay accused of retaliating against family suing school; Q&A with mother
As I’ve previously posted, Fay School is the defendant in a Federal lawsuit. Backed by a physician’s diagnoses, parents of a 12 year old student (named G in the lawsuit) have claimed that the school’s strong wifi signals cause their son physical harm.
At root of the issue is the boy’s diagnosis as suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS).
Between the controversial nature of the syndrome, and the size of the $250,000 suit, the family has been attacked by commenters on the blog. Meanwhile, the lawsuit, amended through a January filing, alleges that the school has unfairly discriminated and retaliated against the student and family.
I shared media coverage of the court filing in January. But it didn’t include the full scope of complaints. The mother of G reached out to me to share the allegations and her family’s story with readers.
(Fay School had no comment for this story beyond their statement issued last August. That statement does not respond to the more recent allegations.):
As previously reported, the school and parents were not able to come to agreement on accommodating G’s hypersensitivity in classrooms. That led to G working from home, while still a Fay student. Since then, the family claims G was unfairly discriminated against to the point that they had to enroll him in another school for the interim.
The administration barred G from campus for any reason even for activities that do not expose him to Wi-Fi. That includes sports, which he loves, and which allowed social time he missed with peers. His mother claims the school didn’t given them any justification for the ban.
Fay had warned that G would have to stay current with his course work from home. But his parents claim that Fay interfered with their efforts. That includes refusing:
Any contact between parents and teachers on lessons being taught
Communication between teachers and a tutor on lesson plans
Recording of class lessons or skyping of classes (at parents’ expense)
As for the underlying reasons for the suit, the complaint claims that under the American Disabilities Act, Fay should be working towards “reasonable accomodation to his EHS, if doing
so can be accomplished without disrupting Fay’s program or academic standards.” It’s something they allege the school hasn’t done:
G’s Mother and Father have offered to work with Fay, even at their own expense, to examine the classroom Wi-Fi system, and to attempt installation of a reasonable alternative to their industrial capacity Wi-Fi for use when G is in attendance. Fay has refused to do anything meaningful and has ignored measurements, other data, and medical and other reports supporting the need to make an accommodation.
Recognizing that readers are skeptical of the suit and syndrome, I asked “Mother of G” to explain or defend likely questions. You can see the full Q&A here.
But here are some highlights:
Parents hope to prevail in court in a way that would reduce their claim of damages, currently listed at $250,000:
if we prevail at the trial on our injunction request that will mean the school will be ordered to have fixed the problem so that our child can return to Fay. If this happens our damages will be less because our child will return to finish the program we have paid dearly for over the last seven years.
Their stated goal:
that the school will fully address the issues that have come to light before more children become sensitized and severely impacted. This technology is relatively new and we are just beginning to understand the many possible impacts both in-terms of the positive benefits of technology use and the very serious negative impacts overexposure can have.
Also worth noting:
. G was experiencing and describing symptoms before having any idea wifi could be a cause
. Data collected and analyzed showed “startling connection” that his symptoms coincided with wifi exposure peaks
. The family “made every effort” to resolve issues without a lawsuit
Mother of G also provided relevant research papers and news stories on EHS for those who want to learn more. Those links are included in the Q&A:
Here is the January request to the court to amend the filed complaint. (I’ve been told that was approved by the judge.) And here is the amended motion as proposed:
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