EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Concerned parents are vowing they may pull their kids out of a Metro East elementary school, fearing for their safety.
It's all over a proposed cell phone tower.
AT&T has a problem. It's got a dead spot in Edwardsville, with bad reception. A cell tower in a field in the LeClaire community would fix the problem, but here's another problem. It's right next to an elementary school.
A lot of parents don't like that idea. They voiced their concern Wednesday at LeClaire Elementary School to the school board and AT&T.
The cell tower would be designed to look like a tree, but the biggest issue voiced wasn't looks. It was safety. Specifically, what impact radio frequency from the tower, which would sit on school property, would have on the students, as well as people who live in the area.
A representative from AT&T says the level of radio frequency would be thousands of times below safety limits set by the federal government, but many in the audience weren't convinced.
"I've taught research writing at Southern Illinois University for nine years, I know what is a good study and what's a bad study and definitely my concern is just that I feel like the data presented does not convince me that its safe, and I have kids, five, three, and one, and their safety at this school that they attend here is a big deal," said parent Rachel Garlinghouse.
"I want to hear from our parents regarding what they believe is best for their kids, best for the school," said Edwardsville Superintendent Dr. Ed Hightower.
Dr. Hightower says this is far from a done deal. He'll present a recommendation to the school board in about a month.
Despite the opposition, there are supporters of the tower. A man who's lived in the area for more than 60 years said people should be more afraid to drive on the highway.