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School board member resigns following 5G antenna controversy


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    WYANDOTTE, Michigan (WWJ) — The controversy in Wyandotte continues. Now, there’s more fallout after a school board member recently resigned over the issue.

Former Wyandotte School Board member Frank Tarnowski tells CBS News Detroit he was tired of being the only member to speak out against that antenna.

“Basically, in their [attorney’s for the district] brief, they stated that the tower wasn’t harmful to children. There were no studies that would prove it. And that the board did nothing wrong. And it was basically a snapshot from T- Mobile, and I didn’t agree with it,” Tarnowski said.

Parents of students at Washington Elementary School have pressed city leaders to take the antenna down.

Tarnowski, a board member for less than a year, has been in the area for years. Nearly two decades prior, Tarnowski had children who attended Washington.

“They have let T-Mobile speak the narrative on this tower since they signed the contract,” he said.

The district and T-Mobile entered an agreement in 2018. COVID-19 delays halted the installation and activation. The antenna is supposed to be activated this summer.

Parents filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile and a list of city officials over it. A judge temporarily paused the activation.

“We had a decision to void this contract, and we didn’t,” Tarnowski said.

As part of the deal, the district is set to receive $1,000 per month. Tarnowski believes the school board that initially approved the deal didn’t have the community’s best interest.

“Was it immoral? Was it unethical? Did anyone take into consideration the children? You can fault that and say no,” Tarnowski says.

Parents for months have threatened to remove their children from the school.

“The numbers are already down for the kindergarten class next year. What’s going to happen continuously? Are we going to lose more students,” he questioned.

Tarnowski recently filed to represent Michigan’s 27th district in Lansing; he believes it could prove beneficial.

Currently, Jamie Churches represents Michigan’s 27th district. Earlier in June, Churches said she was in discussions with T-Mobile to move the antenna elsewhere.

T- Mobile filed to move the case to federal court. The attorney representing the parents who initiated the lawsuit tells CBS News Detroit a judge recently ordered the case back to state court.

CBS News Detroit reached out to the school board president to get her thoughts on the recent resignation. We have yet to receive a response.

The board has begun its process of filling Tarnowski’s seat.

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