Back to School with Safer Tech

As schools open for a new year, I highly recommend:

Victoria Dunckley, MD’s Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time. Hundreds of children–including those with psychotic and autistic behaviors–have benefitted from child psychiatrist Dunckley’s program. She also reports that interactive screens (i.e. video games) are more harmful to brain development than passive TV.

My own report, “Calming Behavior in Children with Autism & ADHD,” presents pediatrician Toril Jelter, MD’s free protocol, which includes turning Wi-Fi off for at least 12 hours every night.


What and how do we teach our children?

Parents and teachers need to navigate things no one’s prepared to handle: climate change, GMOs, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure, Electronic Screen Syndrome, etc. As technology saturates our society, what do we want children to cultivate? How do we encourage humanness (relationship to nature, compassion for self and others, acceptance of vulnerability, self-control, ability to resolve conflict)?

Corporations now aim to create “digital citizens.” Apple and Pearson sell school districts an iPad for every child, routers for every classroom, digital curricula that replaces discussion with electronically sent questions and answers. Corporations collect billions of dollars and data-mined profiles of each child for lifelong marketing. Rather than teach by screens, encourage students and school personnel to:

* Compare the growth of seeds planted beside and far from Wi-Fi router.

* Learn how EMR exposure increases risk of diseases including brain cancer at and in “Color Charts: at

* Learn how to disable Wi-Fi and remove wireless “smart boards.” Get hard-wired Internet, mice, keyboards, speakers, monitors.

* Learn why underwriters advise against insuring for damages to health caused by wireless technologies.

* Determine EMR exposure safety standards for the school. (At what age can people safely use mobile devices? For how many minutes per day? What scientific studies back up your standards?)

* Study “How Green is Your Cloud” from Greenpeace to learn that if the cloud were a country, it would rank fifth in energy use since it requires air conditioning. Jane Anne Morris’ “Eat, Sleep, Click” explains how much bike pedaling we’d each need to do for a bike-powered Internet. What ideas does your community have for reducing the Internet’s use of natural resources?

* Define technology addiction. Set guidelines for preventing it and for restoring sensible use. (What behaviors signal that technology use has become unhealthy? If someone’s use becomes unhealthy, what actions could restore them to healthy use? What behaviors would indicate that your use has become unhealthy?)

* Consider screen-time and EMR exposure possible factors when students or school personnel experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, strange rashes, irritability, memory problems, irregular heartbeat.


Instead of Electronics: Ideas for Schools & Families

Stage competitions to reduce energy use and EMR emissions.

Learn how to make a solar oven and cook in it.

Compost. Even urban schools and apt. dwellers can with vermicompost.

Make a book about your family/school/community history.

Walk or bike for your groceries.

Build a greenhouse. Grow your own vegetables and flowers.

Grow mint and make mint sun-tea.

Insulate your windows and doors.

Make quilts, dolls and re-usable grocery bags from old jeans and t-shirts.

Make soap, hand lotion and toothpaste. Sell them.

Install DC lighting and hot water systems.

Make dried apricots, apples and cherry tomatoes: Clean used window

screens. Dry sliced fruit in the sun between screens.

In small groups, read Reset Your Child’s Brain by Dr. Victoria Dunckley or

Katie Singer’s An Electronic Silent Spring and support each other through

electronic fasts.


Watch three fantastic documentaries:

Merchants of Doubt, about industry methods for keeping the public uninformed about cigarette hazards and scientific research on climate change.

Mobilize, about telecom corporations using the same tactics to keep the public uninformed about EMR exposure from mobile phones.

Broadcast Blues, about the health of a community near an array of broadcasting antennas, and their fight to keep EMR emissions within FCC guidelines.

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