EDUCATION

Cell towers at Forest Oak Middle School proposed

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The president of the parent-teacher association says representatives from Sprint will be at Forest Oak Middle School to propose the building of a cell phone tower.

It’s an idea that has Janice Sartucci fuming.

She's with Parents Coalition of Montgomery County, an advocacy group that keeps track of developments within the public school system.

Sartucci has been in this fight for years. She says it all usually happens with little notice to parents and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

"We're taking public school land that has been paid for by tax payers we're handing it over to a commercial venture for profit," Sartucci says.

A school district spokesman says it is the companies that approach the schools, admitting the superintendent ultimately decides whether the tower is built. It’s a decision that is based on whether the community wants it.

In a statement, the school stated: "Today is the first discussion of this with the PTA. Once there is a sense of what the company wants to do, the principal is going to notify the neighborhood associations and have the company present to them as well."

Sartucci doesn't think this is enough.

“We'd like to see is an open public process before our elected board of education," she says.

She’s also concerned about security at schools when crews come on campus to work on the towers and questions how the money the school district makes is used.

School officials say they made more than $800,000 last fiscal year.

Part of the money is given back to the school and the principal decides what to do with it.

The PTA at the school will have a meeting and talk about issue tonight at 7 p.m.

To see a list of schools with towers, click here.

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