A tiny island school faces a boycott by parents over a 5G mobile phone mast near by.

Some parents have said that their children will not return to Stronsay Junior High, on Stronsay, Orkney, until the antenna is removed because they fear that it is a health risk.

Russell and Naomi Bremner removed Dorothy, ten, Wilbur, nine, and Martha, seven, and started home-schooling them in April. They have been joined by Duncan and Anna Bliss Davis who say their six children, aged five to 11, will not go back after the summer break. The two families account for nine of the 29 children in the combined primary and secondary school.

Trials of the new-generation mobile technology are being carried out by the BBC to improve phone and internet reception on the remote islands. An antenna installed near the school provides coverage across most of the island, which has a population of 350. The trials are expected to continue until at least September 9.


“Our children are being denied a school education,” said Mr Bliss Davis, 40, a farmer and student. “Yes they will receive an education at home but for the sake of a small compromise could they not switch it off?

“The trial has already been extended once [until September], and no one will give written assurance that the transmitter and all associated devices will be turned off and removed at the end of September, and so our six children will not be returning to school until the mast is turned off and its removal details put into writing.”

Mr Bremner said: “My family is my world, and I would never forgive myself if I looked back later in life and asked myself, could I have done more to protect them?”

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UK government guidance shows that the strength of radio waves — which are used in mobile phone technology — in the publicly accessible areas around mobile phone masts are well within safe guidelines. Public Health England and other expert groups have said that no adverse effects are likely at that level of exposure.

Orkney Islands council said: “The aim is to explore the potential of 5G to improve connectivity in communities which have little access to broadband and mobile phone networks. The council obtained guidance on 5G safety from PHE before agreeing for the 5G equipment to be installed in Stronsay. PHE’s advice is that there should be no consequences for public health.”

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Source: Stronsay Junior High: School faces boycott over phone mast health fears | Scotland | The Times