RIPON — Parents in Ripon have been fighting for a Sprint cell tower to come down for roughly two years and they’re calling the company’s latest decision a major win.
“It’s been a very hard battle, a very hard battle. And I’m hoping we’ve reached the end of it,” mother Kellie Prime said.
Now, these parents can breathe a sigh of relief after learning the cell tower outside of their sons’ former school, Weston Elementary, will soon be moved.
Prime and Monica Ferrulli have been fighting for this since their sons, Kyle and Mason, were diagnosed with cancer.
“Talking to specialists in the field, scientists, our own doctors,” Ferrulli explained. “All the information that we gathered indicated that that tower could be a factor in their illness.”
While there is no proof that the tower had any impact on their cancer, these moms believe it did. Especially as more students and teachers fell ill.
They say a total of eight were diagnosed in the past couple of years.
“Having so many at one school in the district, with that tower being the one thing that sets Weston apart from the other schools, it’s the only thing we had to look into,” Prime said.
After holding protests, and taking their concerns to the school board, Sprint now says it plans to move the cell tower.
“We do understand and respect the views of the community. We’re committed to being good neighbors,” Adrienne Norton, Sprint Corporate Communications, said.
However, the company stresses, that the tower is fully compliant with state and federal regulations.
“It’s actually operating at less than one percent, hundreds of times below federal limits,” Norton explained.
The Ripon Unified School District echoed this message, saying in a statement:
“Ripon USD asked for multiple independent tests that have shown that the cell tower is operating safely well within standard state and federal limits. Regardless, we take the ongoing concerns seriously and want our families to feel comfortable in their school.”
There’s no timeline yet for when the tower will be moved or where it’s going.
But, these mother’s say, the sooner the better.
“We don’t want other families to have to see what we’ve seen in our children. And watch their kids fight for their lives like our children have had to do,” Prime said. “And if this helps to save one more child from getting sick, then it’s worth it to us.”