San Jose

Parents Want Cellphone Tower Taken Off Church Steeple in San Jose

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A battle in the South Bay involving new technology and health concerns has taken an unusual religious twist.

Some parents and parishioners are taking the Catholic Diocese of San Jose to task for a cellphone tower on the church steeple at St. Christopher Catholic Church, which is also home to a school.

"Until the evidence is established that cell tower radiation isn't harmful for our children, cell towers like the one at the church steeple at St. Chris should be removed," parent John Conway said.

The diocese started leasing space on the steeple to a cellular company back in 1999. It was recently upgraded to 4G technology, which some parishioners fear could be emitting more radiation.

One mother decided she couldn't risk her daughter's health after she was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago.

"Within one day we made the decision to pull her from the school," Gina Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said four other parents did the same.

In a statement, the diocese said the health and safety of parents, children and parishioners are its top priority.

The diocese said it established a task force of medical and technology experts to study the parents' concerns and will hold a community meeting next week to release the results.

Parents feel the results will undoubtedly favor the diocese and nothing will change.

"I don't understand why the diocese would put profits over the safety of our children," Conway said.

The diocese said it knows of no plans to upgrade to 5G technology. Up to 50 more families say they will pull their children from the school if that happens.

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