Computer Safety in our Classrooms

Legislation has been submitted by Senator Steve Hershey and Delegate Steve Arentz that will support the creation of health guidelines in Maryland classrooms to protect students, now that computers are used daily in many schools. The legislation will go to the Senate Rules Committee once it is released by Legislative Services. The Rules committee will decide if it will refer the legislation to another committee for a hearing, or if the legislation should be dropped altogether.

Your support is needed to make sure our children are protected from the known hazards of daily computer use in school. Chief among the health risks posed to our kids are: increased nearsightedness, blurry eyes, dry eyes, the potential for long-term visual injuries, headaches, physical pains and discomfort from poor ergonomics, and the problems associated with sleeplessness.

Read this OP-ED from the Baltimore Sun here:

Please contact your own representatives (see emails at bottom of post) and the members of the Rules Committee to share your views. It would be helpful to share your support with the sponsors as well, and thank them for their efforts at protecting children across the state. As more schools get more technology, this legislation will help create a blueprint of safety for all of our kids.

Below is an excerpt from a parent letter which has about potential medical outcomes associated with computer use in schools:

I used to work in the ed-tech world and think adaptive, personalized learning (via digital programs like Dreambox) has a place in education — but can and should never replace things like smaller class sizes, adequate professional development for teachers undertaking a new curriculum (Common Core), proper heating/cooling, additional staff to support students with learning differences, adequate physical education and health/nutrition programs, the arts, and so on. Put simply, there are so many higher-priority initiatives in which to invest. And these initiatives, unlike the 1:1 student:laptop plan, are backed by decades of research.

A glaring omission in the STAT initiative is ergonomics. What will happen when students spend their days and nights staring down at laptop screens? The same thing happening to professionals: they’ll develop chronic overuse and musculoskeletal conditions like neck pain, carpal tunnel, headaches, TMJ syndrome, and so on. On this, the evidence is clear (and growing). See below, for starters.

From Cornell:

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/IEA2000/iesclassroomcomputers.pdf

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/MBergo/schoolguide.html

From Harvard Medical School:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/prevent-pain-from-computer-use

A study by Australian scientists about computer use in kids and neck pain:

http://www.iea.cc/ECEE/pdfs/art0211.pdf

From the McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/Handouts/neck_pain/neck_pain.htm

Another parent discusses concerns about Wireless radiation:    The fact is that wireless radiation could harm the kids but no one wants “to go there.” In Montgomery County parents are rallying to stop wifi because it is radiation that has been shown to damage sperm, increase cancer risk and damage the brain. 13 medical doctors already wrote the district on this warning them. Read the letters here. http://safetechforschoolsmaryland.blogspot.com

Safe water and healthy air seems like the place to put money if wifi could cause all these problems!

 

Senator Steve Hershey
410-841-3639
steve.hershey@senate.state.md.us
Delegate Steve Arentz
410-841-3543
steven.arentz@house.state.md.us
Senate Rules Committee:
katherine.klausmeier@senate.state.md.us
james.degrange@senate.state.md.us
joan.carter.conway@senate.state.md.us
john.astle@senate.state.md.us
george.edwards@senate.state.md.us
steve.hershey@senate.state.md.us
jb.jennings@senate.state.md.us
edward.kasemeyer@senate.state.md.us
nathaniel.mcfadden@senate.state.md.us
thomas.mclain.middleton@senate.state.md.us
thomas.v.mike.miller@senate.state.md.us

 

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