Contracts have been signed, but no permits have been issued yet for our school.
Below is an e-mail that was sent to DeKalb BOC on March 26.
Today we had a bit of a fire drill for cell tower construction at the schools. Construction crews showed up at our neighboring school, Margaret Harris Comprehensive School. A neighbor there put out the alert and several of us put out calls to the county code compliance number and to Commissioners Rader and Boyer. It was determined that there was no permit and ultimately the work crew left. Hurray for the system! Thank you Jeff Rader and Bob Lundsten for your quick efforts!
This event brings a good opportunity for a reminder of the issue. T-mobile is still in contract with the DeKalb BOE to erect 9 cell towers on 9 school properties. Thanks to your letter sent to the DeKalb BOE last year, I know that you are committed to keeping our school yards safe and protecting the integrity of our neighborhoods by upholding county code. It was written almost exactly one year ago on March, 27! How’s that for timing?! Here is a link to that letter for your reference:
I’d like to thank you all for your continued commitment to keep our school yards safe and our neighborhoods intact. We are working to inform the new DeKalb BOE members of the issue of the towers in hopes that they will cancel or end the contract. If you have the opportunity, we’d appreciate you passing a word to them as well.
Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, Dekalb Co School Board Superintendent
Dr. Atkinson thoughtfully sent each of us who spoke at last Monday’s School Board meeting a letter outlining her assertions that the School Board provided notice to the community of Briarcliff Heights. I will cut to the text that appears in most the letters:
“After much discussion and receipt of public input, the Board of Education voted to approve the placement of T-Mobile cell towers on properties owned by the DeKalb County School District. Over a period of time between 2010 and 2011, three presentations regarding cell towers were made during Budget, Finance, and Facilities Committee meetings. These meetings were announced and open to the public. Prior to the vote in July, public information sessions were advertised and held at each site slated to receive a cell tower. Citizens provided comments and information regarding cell towers during televised Board meetings in June and July. The AJC and other local newspapers provided press coverage regarding the issue. Finally, before the final vote was taken on July 11, 2011 during the monthly Board meeting, the Board of Education held an extensive discussion regarding placement of cell towers on school properties.”
Requested an electronic copy of any and all signed contract(s) between the Dekalb County School System/Dekalb County Board of Education and T-Mobile, specifically with regard to the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School.
Sent this email to the principals of Margaret Harris and IHM tonight:
The local neighborhood, which contains a number of health care professionals, have been collecting published scientific studies investigating the safety of these large cell towers. On our site posted a number of published scientific, peer-reviewed articles and information regarding documented health effects.
We are pleased to announce that the N. Druid Hills Residents Association sent a letter December 6, 2011 to the School Board Members and Superintendent backing their residents in the Briarcliff Heights area, imploring the Board to remove the proposed tower from Margaret Harris and open discussions about safer and less residential placement of a tower.
We couldn’t get any more answers about the contract at Monday’s School Board Meeting. Yesterday, Briarcliff Heights resident and attorney Joe Staley sent the following Open Records request to the School Board to try and get to the bottom of what is actually in the T-Mobile contract, who would sign it, and if it’s even signed yet….
By Emma Harger November 29, 2011: Neighbors of the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School said they were not notified of a proposed cell phone tower on school property, but now that they know about it, they are actively fighting it.