Public schools

This Teacher, Suffering from a Hoax Disease, Wants to Shut Off Wifi in Cali Schools

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity isn't a real thing

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Lawson
CBSLA

A teacher has made it her mission to bring California classrooms back to the Dark Ages by turning off the wifi service at public schools.

The teacher, Anura Lawson, believes she suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which makes her allergic to certain kinds of radio waves. Lawson told CBSLA.com that the headaches started when the water department first installed wireless smart meters outside her home.  She eventually succeeding in having those removed, and when wireless internet later appeared at the school where she teaches, she lobbied district officials to exempt her classroom.

One problem: electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome isn't a real thing. From The Guardian:

But what does the evidence say? The classic way to test whether someone is sensitive to anything noxious is to expose them to it under controlled conditions and see what happens. Dozens of such studies have been done with people who report having EHS, and the results are consistent. Those taking part do indeed experience symptoms when exposed to electromagnetic fields, more so than when exposed to a "sham" scenario involving no active exposure. But when the experiments are performed double-blind, with neither the participant nor the researcher knowing which scenario is which, these effects disappear. The symptoms are real, but they are not caused by electromagnetic fields. Instead, they seem to be triggered by something far more mysterious: the nocebo effect.

In other words, people with EHS only think the radiation is hurting them. It's a mental condition, not a physical ailment—the radio waves themselves are completely safe.

Lawson homeschools her children to keep them safe from electromagnetic waves. That's her right as a parent, even if she's doing it for indefensible reasons. I'm less comfortable depriving the kids in her classroom of wireless internet access, but perhaps that isn't such a big deal if they can spend some school time using the web in other classrooms.

Her ultimate goal, on the other hand—to eliminate wifi from all California classrooms—is insane and contemptible:

Lawson has started an online petition to get WiFi out of California classrooms. For more information, click here.

Her MoveOn.org petition is filled with pseudo-scientific nonsense about the supposed harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation:

The microwave radiation from wireless devices has never been safety tested on children. The current regulations for the amount of radiation that children can be exposed to was set by the US army and was based on keeping recruits safe from short term exposure. Current guidelines are based on the premise that the microwave radiation is safe so long as it does not heat an average sized army recruit [6ft 1inch tall. 210 lbs] more than one degree centigrade in 6 minutes. Safety limits have not been adjusted for density/body weight of children. 

In addition to ZERO studies on the safety of long term microwave radiation exposure on children, there are also no studies on the compounded impact of metal/microwave radiation [braces, under wire bras].

Giving every kid in Los Angeles an iPad was a terrible idea, but so is taking away their wireless internet access over preposterous safety concerns. I hope that in the future, district administrators subject her claims to greater scrutiny than the gullible author of the CBSLA.com profile of Lawson.

(AMC's Breaking Bad sequel Better Call Saul, which debuted this year, featured a character suffering from a dubious electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Though if there is any television character who can truly be said to have a love/hate relationship with electromagnetism, it's this guy.)

Hat tip: Raw Story 

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89 responses to “This Teacher, Suffering from a Hoax Disease, Wants to Shut Off Wifi in Cali Schools

  1. I hope like hell she succeeds. Am I a bad person?

    1. World needs ditch diggers too.

      1. How’d you like to mow my lawn?

      2. How’d you like to mow my lawn?

  2. When there’s WiFi around, the Illuminati send her pornographic message through the fillings in her teeth.

    1. How does one register for that service?

      1. If you are worthy, they’ll contact you.

    2. Ah shit. Never thought I’d actually regret not getting the tin fillings.

    1. “I bought the brain shielding cap….and I wanted to say THANK YOU FOR HAVING THIS PRODUCT. It helped stop the feelings I had from some device that was being used on me. I couldn’t believe that the day I put on the cap the feeling and signal was blocked and it instantly felt myself again. I also bought the RF shielding poncho and few others products… I’m in awe on how these things are actually a cure to my suffering.”

      J.P., Illinois

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      deep breath

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    2. There’s also this.

    3. Without clicking on the link…can I guess that this might be your basic tinfoil hat?

      1. No, its a whole line of clothing! Ya gotta see…

      1. well played sir, well played.

  3. This poor lady needs a shrink and some Prozac, not a Faraday cage.

  4. I seem to remember enclaves of people (in California, of course) who claimed to be allergic to plastic and other man-made substances. They said they had to live in wooden houses with cotton sheets, etc etc etc. Are they still around?

    1. I live in a wooden house and sleep on cotton sheets. Does that make me one of them?

      1. Not unless you claim to break out in hives when you use a zip loc bag.

        1. Well that’s a relief. That definitely doesn’t happen to me.

  5. Well this lady is obviously nuts. She’s a perfect fit for a California public school.

    1. Don’t be too certain that she is; she could be angling to go on disability.

      1. Bingo! Ding! Ding! Ding!

  6. I love how her solution isn’t to find another job. Nope. It’s to force everyone else to sacrifice for her completely made-up ailment.

    EVERYONE CATER TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    1. I love how her solution isn’t to find another job.

      Finding a job where there are no wifi would be almost impossible. It says “certain radio waves,” which ones as radio waves are everywhere? I wonder if she has wifi at home?

      1. Teach the Amish?

      2. I imagine the less completely ignorant (but still quite ignorant) proponents of the idea think that the 2.4 GHz and higher bands are worse. FM radio type frequencies really are unavoidable. But those ones don’t propagate so far if you don’t have line of sight.

        I bet someone heard that WiFi used frequencies in the microwave band and got all worried that they were getting cooked or reheated or something.

    2. Reminds me of the woman I used to work with. She was always cold, so she ran a space heater, despite the fact that no one else in the room was cold. The heater, of course, warmed the air for everyone. But did she deign to wear even a sweater? What do you think………

      1. She probably drove a prius too.

        1. Actually, she did! (not positive, could have been a Civic hybrid). But guess what? She was an ex marine.

          1. Most of us prefer to be known as “former Marine” but that one sounds like an ex-Marine for sure.

            1. If you make it into the news, it depends on what you’ve done. Something heroic: former Marine; Gone postal and shot a bunch of people: ex-Marine. 🙂

      2. But did she deign to wear even a sweater?

        What are you, Jimmy Carter?

      3. Was she older than everyone else? I worked at a country club years back and the old people always complained about it being too cold. A typical exchange went like: “Dear, it’s freezing in here! What’s the thermostat set at?” *after checking* “82” “Well, no wonder!

    3. “This establishment contains radio waves known to the State of California to produce mental defects in adult children.”

      1. Actual children bristle at being compared to people like this.

      2. “Radio waves known to the State of California to produce mental defects in adult children.””

        I believe that station was called “Pacifica

    4. I love how her solution isn’t to find another job. Nope. It’s to force everyone else to sacrifice for her completely made-up ailment.

      Welcome to America. I can’t tell you the number of offices I’ve worked in where this or that activity was no longer allowed because ‘sensitivity to activity’. We always knew who the whiners were, and they often left or quit, with the policy still in place.

      We got banned from using the office microwave because someone sitting near it whined. So everyone had to trudge up four floors to use the communal cafeteria microwave. Eventually, the complainers quit, but the policy remained in place. I said, “fuck it” and started using the local microwave again. What were they gonna do, outsource me?

  7. She better call… oh, you already noted it. Thanks for hogging the references, Robby.

    1. Ghostbusters!

      1. Yeah, but ghosts are real.

  8. Before removing all wifi from schools, she should try to find some home treatments to alleviate her suffereing

    i mean, has she even TRIED using a tinfoil hat?

    1. Does Obamacare allow for policies covering lobotomies?

  9. I can think of other reasons to remove or limit wifi in schools. “Dark Ages” indeed.

    I may be full of shit because it has been a pretty long time since I was in a high school, but I can only imagine that having kids with various connected devices makes it kind of hard to keep their attention.

    Yes, I’m an old fart. Get off my fucking lawn. When I was your age, if you wanted to use a computer you went to the computer lab.

    1. Yeah, I can’t really see the benefit of having wifi in the classroom, especially if the classroom teaching model doesn’t change.

      1. Oh, good, I’m not the only one. Unless the class work specifically requires some network connection. It’s not that hard to limit access. Though the kids probably know more about it than the network admins the schools hire.

        1. If anything, having wifi in the classroom would only further incentivize teenagers to reach for their smartphones. I’d be surprised if this entirely foreseeable consequence doesn’t routinely occur.

          1. ” incentivize teenagers to reach for their smartphones

            But, but, but, if they used their smart phones instead of listening to the teacher they might actually be exposed to real information and learn something! They might even start to think!

            Are you advocating undermining the EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM?

            1. Sorry, that should read “EDUCASHUNAL SYSTEM”

    2. I can think of other reasons to remove or limit wifi in schools.

      When I originally read the title I thought the same thing. My preformed assumption was that a teacher was using a hoax to get the wifi out for professional reasons (with a little secret hope of libertarian ones too). Silly me.

      I may be full of shit too, but isn’t the point of the internet and wifi so you don’t actually have to go places to get information? Wifi at school seems like paying administrators to teach kids how to tear down school buildings.

      1. It actually makes perfect sense: this way kids can just look everything up on wikipeida (or watch porn or whatever) and the teachers and admins don’t have to do any work at all while still collecting their full salaries.

    3. but I can only imagine that having kids with various connected devices makes it kind of hard to keep their attention.

      It’s has always been hard to keep kids’ attentions, especially high schoolers. Electronic devices just gives them something to distract them, opposed to just spacing off or daydreaming. Part of the job of a teacher is to find ways to get kids interested in the subject matter and the lesson. For most kids, that requires not talking at them for 45 minutes to an hour.

      So, instead of making the Internet your enemy, why not make it your friend?

      1. Yeah, sure why not.

        You are certainly right about the distractability of students. Though I did and do get a lot out of old fashioned lectures. Lately I’ve been watching a lot of boring old dude in front of a blackboard type stuff. A good lecturer can hold the attention of people who are interested in what he has to say. If they aren’t dicking around with their phones and laptops.

        But like I said, I might be full of shit. It’s been some time since I was in a classroom.

        1. Adults learn differently than kids, even 18-21 year olds. Once you get past 25, you have a much higher tolerance for sage on the stage lecture stuff now that your prefrontal cortex can properly inhibit your lizard brain.

          1. Different kids learn in different ways as well. Except in public school where it’s OSFA.

        2. I suppose you could say they are definately not using it for educational purposes because nothing educational is going on in these schools. It’s basically just a jobs program for morons like this woman. Her union dues make sure the right people get elected to complete the circle of derp.

  10. The teacher, Anura Lawson, believes she suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which makes her allergic to certain kinds of radio waves. Lawson told CBSLA.com that the headaches started when the water department first installed wireless smart meters outside her home.

    I think I have electromagnetic hypersensitivity hypersensitivity, my blood pressure rises and I get a headache just reading about this shit.

  11. This may be the new MCSD (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Disorder) that was all the rage ~20 years ago. There is nothing new under the sun.

    1. Don’t forget that Wind Turbine Syndrome fad a few years ago.

      1. That actually seems to have a scientific basis: you can make people sick with certain sound frequencies.

        1. In that case, the sound frequency of Rachel Maddow’s voice makes me sick, can the government make her shut up for me?

          You laugh, but in 20 years that will be the favored excuse for abolishing the 1st amendment.

  12. she lobbied district officials to exempt her classroom.

    And it doesn’t stop the waves from coming in through the other classroom, the hall outside, the class room above you, or the one below you.

  13. Someone needs to inform the producers of Better Call Saul.

  14. The microwave radiation from wireless devices has never been safety tested on children.

    It’s like an anti-GMO activist married a helicopter parent and had some sort of mutant offspring.

    1. California’s gotta keep California-ing.

  15. Oh just get her a space blanket.

    1. I’d rather get her and her colleagues a space ship and send them off. She can be navigator.

      1. Oh, so you can make them the first wymyn to be raped in space! NICE!

        SEXIST MUCH??!!!

        1. Don’t tell women to cover themselves up with space blankets; tell wifi not to rape their brainz! No more victim blaming guys.

      2. You mean Golgafrincham Ark Ship B?

        1. Dude, I wouldn’t even wish her on the phone sanitizers.

        2. this is the kind of comment i wish there was a “like” button for

  16. on the plus size she doesn’t appear to have food allergies, so she’s got that going for her.

    1. True dat, bro. Her middle initial is certainly not X.

  17. It’s California and a public school teacher: That combo tells you she usually sits there with her mouth half-agape, and her tongue resting on her bottom lip.

    Say no more.

  18. The only exception I know of is gamma rays. Rats avoid a gamma source, but only after they’ve absorbed a lethal dose already. I cannot recall verse and chapter but this is old research. For other frequencies, my educated neighbor bought a house at an unusually good price under the lowest curve of a transmission line 24 years ago. His kids grew up happy, healthy and wise, and the dogs likewise are healthy. Supersititious nonsense can sometimes benefit non-subscribers.

    1. UV and Xrays aren’t that healthy either.

      But all three of them are way at the other end of the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves.

  19. This ailment has affected such an eminent person as Chuck McGill, Esq. and none of you give a damn!?

    1. (AMC’s Breaking Bad sequel Better Call Saul, which debuted this year, featured a character suffering from a dubious electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Though if there is any television character who can truly be said to have a love/hate relationship with electromagnetism, it’s this guy.)

      What, I’m supposed to read the article then comment?

      1. Its pretty optional, really.

  20. This electromagnetic hypersensitivity must have a genetic component: when a smart meter was installed on her home, her children started to get 105 degree fevers and pissed and shat themselves.

  21. Current guidelines are based on the premise that the microwave radiation is safe so long as it does not heat an average sized army recruit [6ft 1inch tall. 210 lbs] more than one degree centigrade in 6 minutes.

    Wait what? I just read this more carefully. There is no way 802.11 wifi is heating ANYONE one degree centigrade… ever. No six minutes, no 20 minutes, no 100 years. Not ever. Jesus fuck moveon.org are retards of the most special kind.

    1. whadya expect from 18 years of not moving on.

      1. I don’t really know how a moveon.org petition works. Is it something that you can just put up there yourself? Does moveon.org endorse it? I may be being unfair to moveon.org. But I’m quietly judging.

  22. Thank you California, for always providing that extra-special dose of “crazy idiot” that makes NYC seem marginally better.

  23. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
    http://www.work-cash.com

  24. The effects of non-stop pulsed RF microwave radiation is cumulative. At the 22 minute mark listen as this physics teacher, engineer and author explain why today’s children are not sleeping. http://vimeo.com/107855056

    WIRELESS MICROWAVE radiation is a Class 2B Possible Carcinogen in the same category as lead, DDT and chloroform.

  25. I have a hypersensitivity to seeing “Cali” used as an abbreviation of “California,” even in Reason’s deliberately provocative headlines. For one thing, it’s thug talk, and if you’re going to use “Cali” routinely, you might as well quit using “women” and “girls,” and substitute “bitches” and “hos.” For another thing, there is already a famous Cali, an important (some even say infamous) city in Colombia, which was commonly mentioned in news reports, just a decade or two ago, and still shows up, now and then. Why promote confusion? I say, let the city have its name, and always be clear when “California” is what you mean. If you are really pushed for space, long tradition has established “Cal,” and postal practice has established “CA,” as acceptable abbreviations.

    And while you’re at it, be careful not to misidentify California’s Highway 1 north of, say, Santa Barbara as “the PCH.” The Pacific Coast Highway is a strictly Southern Californian stretch of road. For hundreds of miles between San Francisco and Santa Barbara, Highway 1 is the “Cabrillo Highway.”

    I thought you had copy editors to help prevent the publication of stylistic gaffes and errors, such as the one that vexes me in this item. But maybe, on this occasion, your copy editor was out back, smoking some grass. In that case, this lifelong Californian of too many years will close by saying, “get off the lawn!”

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