Petition Closed



We have confirmation that the permits are in the Commissioner’s office waiting approval. This is our best chance at stopping the construction.


T-Mobile is planning a 150 foot/15 story cell tower in our neighborhood on the grounds of the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School.

FACT: Dekalb County Board of Education (BOE) chose Money Over YOUR Children’s Health and Safety!

FACT: Deutsche Telekom, German parent company of T-mobile, has policy against installing towers near dairy cows in its home country recognizing the detrimental effects on cows. They don’t want the local milk or meat affected. Installation of cell towers near German children is unthinkable."

Source: Source Explaining Why:

FACT: School Board Members were aware of this issue as far back as October, 2010. In addition, school Board Members have admitted to not giving communities’ adequate notice.1

FACT: July 11, 2011 Dekalb BOE approved a deal with T-Mobile to erect cell phone transmitter towers at 9 Dekalb public schools.1

FACT: There are 157 Cell Towers in a 4‐mile radius of MHCS thus this tower is not needed.


 FACT: Cell Towers have new rules once they are constructed which makes it easier

Source: "Get Up To Speed" on

FACT: This tower will reduce your property values, betwen 20 to 38%.



On July 11, 2011, the DeKalb School Board voted 7-2 to erect towers at Briarlake, Flat Rock, Princeton, Narvie J. Harris, Smoke Rise and Jolly elementary schools; Martin Luther King Jr. and Lakeside high schools; and Margaret Harris Comprehensive School.  Brockett, Medlock and Meadowview elementary schools were initially included in the proposal, but after petitions and complaints from parents and citizens, the School Board voted to remove these three contested schools from the proposal.  According to reports on the deal, those schools that will receive towers are going to get a one-time payment of $25,000, followed by a nominal monthly fee (reportedly only $ 400 a month).  Over the contract's 30-year life, T-Mobile will pay the school district around $2.3 million in rent.  Construction is already underway in some locations – for example, at Lakeside High School.


Source:  Margaret Harris Comprehensive Specific Article:


1. Health Concerns for All: both local residents and the numerous students.

o    People within a 2 mile radius of cell towers are in the fallout zone have the greatest risk.

 o   Cell towers pose many, many risks - not just radiation and cancer risks - but things like HAZMAT fires at the bottom, damage or injury from falling debris and ice, 24/7 access to your neighborhood by unknown contractors, lights, noise, copper thieves, damage to roads from utility vehicles, access roads that can become hideout locations for criminals to park.

o   Then there is the growing evidence of damage to cells and tissues that can lead to cancer

§  10 out of 14 peer reviewed studies show health effects from wireless base stations (as of end of 2007).


o   Research on mobile tower base stations and their impact on health.


o   The World Health Organization (WHO) named RF Radiation from cell phones /towers as class 2B, possible human carcinogen.

2. RF Radiation:

What RF really is, NON0IONIZED RADIATION, even low levels of RF damage cell tissue & DNA. (i.e. Eyes, testes, fertility, rapid aging, cancer, tumors & leukemia).4 

What is RF?
Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (radiating) through space. Radio waves and microwaves released by transmitting antennas are one form of electromagnetic energy. They are called “radiofrequency” or “RF” energy or radiation. Often the term “electromagnetic field” or “radiofrequency field” is used to indicate the presence of electromagnetic or RF energy.

RF RADIATION SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH IONIZING RADIATION, such as x-rays or gamma rays. RF fields have lower energy and therefore cannot cause ionization (potentially resulting in chemical changes) in the body. RF fields are non-ionizing radiation.

What is non-ionizing radiation?
Non ionizing radiation has lower energy and longer wavelength than ionizing radiation. It is not strong enough to change the structure of atoms it contacts but may be strong enough to heat tissue. Examples include radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and infrared.

(Source, see: FDA also helped the FCC establish its current RF exposure guidelines. On its website discussion of cell phone health issues, the FDA explains that:

RF energy is a type of non-ionizing radiation. Other types of non-ionizing radiation include visible light, infrared radiation (heat) and other forms of electromagnetic radiation with relatively low frequencies.
While RF energy doesn’t ionize particles, large amounts can increase body temperatures and cause tissue damage. Two areas of the body, the eyes and the testes, are particularly vulnerable to RF heating because there is relatively little blood flow in them to carry away excess heat.

(Source, see:

 2010 Study finds current ICNIRP RF safety standards in Europe (similar to FCC's) may be non compliant with existing safety standards, in respect to cell tower exposure, by G Verneeren (2010), The influence of the reflective environment on the absorption of a human male exposed to representative base station antennas from 300 MHz to 5 GHz. 


1.    Safety of Children:

·         The disabled & elderly are at the greatest risk.4

·         Margaret Harris Comprehensive School for the severely DISABLED, & 500+ Students at Immaculate Heart of Mary school as well as 2 other private schools in the area.

2. Reduction In Property Values, up to 20-38%. 

The view of a 15-Story Tower on Knob Hill Drive ne and Belle Isle Circle on MHCS property.  

Source: Burbank Action: Real Estate Values Decrease:‐real‐estate‐value


3.    Cell Tower Collapse  & Guy Wires onto Nearby Properties 

·   NO lateral support. 

·   Multiple components that can lead to structural failure & collapse. 

·         Which homes are at risk if a collapse were to occur?  Knob Hill   

4.    Lack Of Transparency:

·         Lack of due process regarding the private use of public lands. 

·         Complete lack of discussion with affected communities.1


The School Board’s attempts at notification for the parents and local citizens consisted of a simple flier to discuss generally “the proposal to install cell phone towers in various areas of DeKalb County to improve the communication service in DeKalb.”  This flyer does not include text indicating that cell towers would be erected at Margaret Harris or any other school. In an August 31 meeting with Briarlake Elementary parents, School Board Member Paul Womack agreed that this information was not conveyed in the flyer.  This flyer was not distributed to the community at large, despite the fact that the title of the flier is “Cell Phone Tower Proposal Community Meetings.”  No zoning or public sign notices were issued in the involved communities.  When asked about the failure to notify the community, Mr. Womack replied that the school board held a seminar (presumably that noted in the flier, and given by T-Mobile): “We held a seminar here. We advertised it for a month. Put it on the website. The community was told, but everybody said, ‘oh it was the end of school, we didn’t have time’. We had about ten people that showed up for that presentation from T-Mobile. And I only heard one question during that presentation that was anywhere in voicing a concern.”    On 25 October 2011, School Board Member Jesse “Jay” Womack admitted that the community surrounding MLK High School did not get adequate notice and agreed to take their concerns back to the other board members.

SOURCES: SCHOOL BOARD FLIER, DEKALB CO. SCHOOL WATCH Sept 4 Report and full transcript of 31 August Meeting with School Board Member Paul Womack, DEKALB CO. SCHOOL Watch 30 Oct Report


Just listen to School Board Member Paul Womack about why Medlock was NOT APPROVED by the School Board as a location for a tower: “…. the community over at Medlock voiced major concern and we took it off of the contract. Further, Womack stated:  “We’ve tried to follow what communities wanted and very frankly, I’ve only had 4 or 5 questions out of this community as to whether it was safe, why did you do it. If the community does not speak up, I can only support or not support what I’m hearing.

SOURCES: DEKALB CO. SCHOOL WATCH Sept 4 Report and full transcript of 31 August Meeting with School Board Member Paul Womack



During the  permitting faze IF YOU DO NOT CALL and leave a message with State and Local Representative/BOE/Commissioner/Assembly offices, T‐Mobile WILL get the permit! (See below for Scripts & phone numbers). 


State Board of Education                                           DeKalb District Commissioner 

Daniel Israel (4th Congressional District)                  Jeff Rader(District 2)     

Phone: 404-657-7410                                                  Phone‐404‐371‐2863 

General Assembly                                                      DeKalb County Board of Education


Governor Nathan Deal                                              Dr. Eugene P. Walker (District 9)

Phone: 404‐656‐1776                                                 Phone::   404-593-5095       


State Rep Mike Jacobs                                              Don McChesney (District 2)

Phone: 404‐656‐0152                                                  Phone: 404‐664‐2458


State Senator Jason Carter

Phone: 404‐463‐1376

Scripted Message

Hello (insert name of elected official). My name is _______ and my phone number is _________. I am a concerned citizen of DeKalb County.  I am calling to voice my strong opposition to the placement of a cell phone tower on the campus of the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School for disabled and special needs children. I am upset about the lack of public notice or discussion in the DeKalb County School Board's deal with T-Mobile, which will place a towers on the grounds of DeKalb County public school properties. 

I strongly encourage you as an elected official to consider that your constituents are strongly opposed to any action involving the interest of private companies like T-Mobile over the rights of your constituents.(Citizen Name)

2.      JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGE: Briarcliff Heights Community Action Group (

·         Join our Mailing List for Updates. Email Coordinator: Lauren Fernandez


·         In the next 2-weeks, we will be planning a protest in from of MHCS for the disabled (on the weekend). 

·         In order to get media coverage: WE NEED 100 PEOPLE AT THIS PROTEST.  If we don’t have the numbers the media will not cover the story. Bring everyone & anyone you know!


5.      HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW: Become a member and volunteer your time to the action group the BRIARCLIFF HEIGHTS COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP!

·         We need petitioners, people for the protest, legal help, people to make calls, talk to your neighbors, & help passing out fliers.

6.      Come TO OUR NEXT MEETING (See Facebook Page). Bring a neighbor! 

Find us on Facebook, join our group, attend our meetings and get involved in a number of activities we are coordinating.

7.      Put up a sign in your yard.  Email: Lauren Fernandez




Letter to
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 5) Lee May
Dekalb County Board of Education Nancy Jester
Dekalb County Board of Education Pam Speaks
and 27 others
Dekalb County Board of Education Don McChesney
Dekalb County Board of Education Eugene Walker
DeKalb CEO Burrell Elllis
4th Congressional District Daniel Israel
5 th Congressional District Kenneth Mason
Attorney General Samuel S. Olens
DeKalb County Planning and Sustainability-Interim Director Andrew Baker
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Georgia State House
Georgia State Senate
Dekalb County Board of Education Donna Edler
Dekalb County Board of Education Jay Cunningham
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 7) Stan Watson
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 1) Elaine Boyer
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 3) Larry Johnson
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 6) Kathie Gannon
State Represenative Mike Jacobs
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 4) Sharon Barnes Sutton
Dekalb County Board of Education Cheryl Atkinson
Dekalb County Board of Education- Interim Ramona Tyson
Dekalb District Commissioners (District 2) Jeff Rader
Superintendent Dekalb County Board of Education Cheryl Atkinson - Superintendent
Dekalb County Board of Education Thomas Bowen
Dekalb County Board of Education Paul Womack
Dekalb County Board of Education Sarah Copelin-Wood
Georgia Governor
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Kasim Reed Mike Jacobs Jason Carter Burrell Ellis Donald Chesney Lee May. ----------------------- No T-mobile cell-tower construction at Margaret Harris school for disabled! Dear community leaders, I am a voting citizen of DeKalb County. I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the placement of a cell phone tower on the campus of the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School for disabled and special needs children. I am upset about the lack of public notice or discussion in the DeKalb County School Board's deal with T-Mobile, which will place a towers on the grounds of DeKalb County public school properties. Three communities found out about the plans before the July 2011 vote and were removed from the list of schools getting cell towers. If it isn't safe for one school playground it isn't safe for any playground. WE CARE and WE don't want a cell tower! WE have 157 cell towers in a 4-mile radius of MHCS, the most towers of ANY school on the list! This tower isn't necessary thus should not be allowed on MHCS school grounds! I am aware that the Dekalb County School board members were aware of this issue as far back as October 2010. Deceptive techniques, local officials have admitted to providing the affected community with inadequate, if any notice, to avoid fallout. There was and still is a complete lack of discussion with the affected communities or nearby private school Immaculate Heart of Mary School, which is less than 2 football fields away from the soon to be constructed tower? There are 157 cell towers in our area already! There is no need to put a cell tower on the grounds of this special needs school with many alternative commercial locations. Schools are zones as a last resort, this was the easy & 1st choice for T-mobile-this violates the zoning/land use law in Dekalb County. This project is trying to obtain permit, ACT NOW! As a voter and taxpayer, I strongly encourage you as an elected official to consider that your constituents are strongly opposed to any action involving the interest of private companies like T-Mobile over the rights of your constituents. NO PERMITS FOR T- Mobile CELL TOWER CONSTRUCTION ON THE GROUNDS OF MARGARET-HARRIS COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL FOR THE severely DISABLED!

On December 5, 2011, our community along with Briarlake and other schools slated for a cell tower came out in force to protest the installations. We were 100 strong, at the Dekalb County Board of Education Meeting in opposition and occupied most of the speaker slots that night. You chose to ignore our opposition and plight that we were not informed as a community of your plans and sign the actual contract on December 1, 2011, which was counter signed by T-mobile on December 8, 2011. Again, we say, NO CELL TOWER IN BRIARCLIFF HEIGHTS! This battle is not over. We urged you to listen to your constituents and to be fair YOU FAILED THE STUDENTS AND DEKALB RESIDENTS. Sincerely,