WYANDOTTE, Mich., June 9, 2023 – A 5G cell phone tower placed at Washington Elementary School in the Wyandotte Public Schools district has caused concerns from parents, teachers and community members over the course of the last few months.
In 2018, the Wyandotte School Board entered a legally binding business partnership with T-Mobile, allowing the service provider to mount a cell phone tower adjacent to Washington Elementary School. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the development and installation of the tower was delayed until September 2022. This tower was then installed on school premises.
Following its installation, many community members voiced their concerns about the location of the tower, given the fact it was on school property and looming over the playground area for students. State Rep. Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte) acknowledged these concerns.
“I called a recent meeting with T-Mobile representatives to discuss possible alternatives,” Churches said. “The City of Wyandotte and the school district worked tirelessly to propose nine alternative locations for the cell tower within the city. Both the city and the school district were prepared to allocate resources to assist T-Mobile in relocating the tower.”
T-Mobile did not accept the proposed alternative locations, stating they were not viable under their criteria. Despite these collaborative efforts of the city, the district and Rep. Churches, T-Mobile chose to prioritize profits and convenience over the needs of the community.
During the discussions with T-Mobile, Rep. Churches emphasized that the community’s needs have evolved since the contract was initially agreed upon in 2018. Drawing from personal experience as a teacher, Churches underscored in the meeting the importance of adapting to the needs of the community and requested that T-Mobile consider these changing circumstances.
“It is with great disappointment that I must inform you that T-Mobile has chosen to proceed with turning on the tower at Washington Elementary School, despite our efforts and expressed desire for a mutually beneficial solution,” Churches stated.
“While this is not the outcome we expected after proposing alternative solutions, I remain committed to exploring other avenues to address the concerns of the community surrounding this issue and want to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard when matters like this arise.”
Contact: Taylor Alpert (Rep. Churches, Legislative Director), firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 373-0478