In June of 2017, we reported that two students at Weston Elementary school in Ripon, California had developed cancer.


And now sadly, two more have, as well. (AS WELL AS THREE TEACHERS.)

Last Friday, a fourth child who attends the school was diagnosed with cancer. Some parents, having had enough, are now pulling their kids out of school.

Although the Ripon Unified School District is finally talking with Sprint about moving the cell phone tower from the elementary, they are only doing so because of public uproar. Not because parents asked them to TWO YEARS AGO. However, before that can even happen, the school district and telecom giant will have to mutually agree to relocation of the tower. (The school district receives a “negligible amount of revenue”1 from providing campus space for the tower and according to the board president has no out clause from the 25-year lease agreement with Sprint.)

A Ripon school board meeting on Monday evening, “board president Kit Oase said tests done on the tower found it was operating normally within safety standards.”1


That’s not the least bit comforting.

“About 200 parents packed the meeting, held in the Ripon City Council chambers. People who want the tower removed say four students and three teachers at Weston have been stricken with cancer. The kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school on Stanley Drive has 400 students.”1

Brad Rex, one of the students, lives across the street from the school. In fact, his class in near the tower. After his parents noticed a bump on his abdomen a month ago and took him in, doctors found a tumor wrapped around his liver.

“Potential health effects from electromagnetic fields emitted by transmission lines or cell towers have been debated for years. The National Cancer Institute cites studies that EMFs are a possible human carcinogen based on research looking at childhood leukemia.

According to notices posted by RUSD, the school district hired engineers for an evaluation in 2018 on the cell tower’s compliance with guidelines for limiting human exposure to electromagnetic radiation. The testing found exposure levels for people nearby were below the federal standard, the notices says.”

But parents hired their own professionals to do testing and found much higher readings. And the Cochran law firm of Los Angeles was hired to look at health effects of the cell tower and water contamination as a potential source for the cancers.


Monica Ferrulli, whose son was treated for brain cancer in 2017 and watched him relapse last year, said “RUSD has cited an obsolete American Cancer Society study in keeping the tower in place since the controversy erupted two years ago. ‘It is just denial,’ Ferrulli told the board. She vowed that parents will continue to fight and keep their children out of the school.”1

We are so sorry for these parents and teachers and stand with them.


  1. The Modesto Bee