Parents Want Technology Out Of Schools After Son Dies From Brain Cancer

Heartbreaking 11

If my child was suddenly and unexplainably diagnosed with cancer and died 11 months later, I would be searching high and low for answers that may or may not exist. I would be so heartbroken that I wouldn't know where to turn, what to do with myself, or how to create a positive situation out of a heartbreaking, horrifying one. So I can't fault these parents from New Zealand for blaming the death of their 10-year-old son, who was diagnosed with brain cancer less than one year before he lost his battle with the disease, on their son's school's Wifi and iPad usage. But, in spite of some surprising coincidences that have been revealed, they may be taking things too far by fighting all schools in their district to get rid of technology.  

When doctors found tumors on Ethan Wyman's brain, they told his parents they were about 3 months old. The young boy had been issued an iPad as part of his school's 1:1 education initiative 4 months prior to the doctors' discovery. Ethan's father says that, while he doesn't blame the school's technological advancements for causing his son's cancer, he can't help but feel like it's too big a coincidence to ignore. 

Ethan's parents are making a big push to the school board to remove all iPads and Wifi connections from local schools. They reportedly have two children who still attend the school, which may explain why they feel passionately about this -- or maybe they are really just trying to do something they feel is positive in order to counter the awful event that very recently shattered their lives.

But the Wyman's may find themselves fighting an impossible battle. Both the New Zealand Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education find no link between Wifi and cancer. And, though we should remain skeptical since a few studies have found a possible link between cell phones and cancer, the majority claim tech is safe enough to use in schools. 

We also shouldn't downplay the important role tech is occupying in schools. In this country, Common Core Learning Standards practically require that computers are incorporated into lessons. Students who use devices like iPads have access to a world of information that reaches far beyond their textbooks. 

Given the lack of scientific proof here, it seems like the benefits of technology outweigh the possible harmful effects. I feel for these parents and understand why they are making this effort to change their schools, but I'm not sure this is the right battle to fight.

Do you think schools should get rid of technology because of a possible link to cancer?


Image via flickingerbrad/Flickr


education, elementary school, in the news, kid health, technology, cancer


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Mark Cox

lets jump and take away from all because of one...sounds bout right...lets do a full medical work up on these parents and the entire family..but nope..its the ipad and wifi!!!

Traci... Traci_Momof2

You know, maybe one day we will find concrete proof that all this technology is slowly killing us via cancer or other illnesses.  But right now we don't have that and right now it's become too engrained in our society.  What these parents are trying to do just will not work.

If they are concerned about the link between the wifi and cancer, then I would fully support their decision to pull their own kids out of the school district and find an alternate for educating them.  But to try to push their conclusions onto the entire district - no, I do not support that.  I understand they are grieving and want answers and want action but this is not the way to accomplish it.

hopea... hopealways4019

My 10 yr old also died 10 months later, after being diagnosed with a different form of cancer. I contacted the state medical board, to start an investigation. The doctors failed him.

Larkyn Nash

I hate the new ipads. I want my high school to go back to textbooks. I miss text book. One of my teachers still has a class set and when we have to use the ipads for textbook work she gives us the option of using a regular textbook. Everyone in my class including me picked the real book over the ipad. They are stupid.

Barbara W Yang

I. Think it is worth looking into and it is a form of radiation going into all electronical things like cell phones iPods and others. When theses idems were brought to the us we as American said whow this is cool without knowing what they can cause or affect others. They have there good and bad just like everything. Look at our children they can't read a book ,can use spell check if they can't spell a word our education is declining all common core bull and we just let it continue our children know the computers they know more then us and we as parents have no control over the children's welfare today

nonmember avatar NoWay

With the widespread usage of such devices, don't they think there would be more of an epidemic? One kid out of thousands got cancer ... this is tragic, but this stuff happened before computers, wifi, etc. When I was in high school, a 17 year old student died of cancer. This was before the Internet was available for public use and we hardly used computers and there were no cell phones. I understand these parents are grieving, but I don't think trying to stop technology is the answer.

femal... femaleMIKE

Grief strikes everyone differently.

mama_... mama_too_3

I don't agree with why they want to get rid of the Ipads but I do agree with getting rid of the 1:1 concept most schools have adopted. My daughter started Jr high this year and the laptop they issued is the worst enemy for her in terms of grades. She went from being a straight A student to straight Fs and the only thing the school or teachers have to say is " it's a transition year". They're ridiculous.

Jence... Jenceleste

I'm not sure about the wifi causing cancer but I am sure that kids need to go back to the old school and read books, write with pencils etc. All of this technology is turning them into braindead dumbasses!

3grea... 3greatkids751

I really feel as though we need to steer back to textbooks. I grew up with them in schools, for goodness sakes all we had was the IBM computers lol now as my kids are going to school they are using iPads? Boy things have changed! Idk.. We survived perfectly fine with the curriculum we went by why can't other generations do the same?

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