TECH

15-Year-Old Dies After Developing An 'Allergic Reaction To School Wifi'

01/12/2015 13:01 GMT | Updated 01/12/2015 14:59 GMT

A 15-year-old schoolgirl committed suicide after she developed an allergic reaction to her school's WiFi, an inquest has heard.

Jenny Fry suffered from electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), which her parents believe was a result of the internet connection at Chipping Norton School in Oxfordshire.

Symptoms of the condition include fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea and heart palpitations.

wifi

Her body was found hanging in Brooke Woods, Oxfordshire in June.

Jenny's parents said she had started showing EHS symptoms in 2012. According to the Mirror, Mrs Fry told the Oxfordshire Coroners' Court:

"Jenny was getting ill and so was I. I did some research and found how dangerous WiFi could be so I had it taken out of the house.

"Both Jenny and I were fine at home but Jenny continued to be ill at school in certain areas.

"She was receiving lots of detentions, not for being disruptive in class or misbehaving, but often because she used to take herself out of the classroom to find another where she was able to work. She took her schoolwork seriously."

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She added: "I took lots of information into school to show the headteacher, Simon Duffy, but he said there was equally the same information available claiming WiFi was safe.

"I also had a heated exchange with teachers telling them Jenny was allergic to WiFi and that it made no sense making her take detentions in rooms that were making her ill.

"I fully believe Jenny did not intend to take her own life. I think she was frustrated with school."

According to the World Health Organisation, EHS is present in a few individuals per million of the population.

However, WHO have also noted that EHS symptoms can not be linked to exposure to electromagnetic or radio-frequency signals.

Most often environmental factors, including flickering from fluorescent lights, poor air quality and stress in the living or working environment, can contribute to EHS.

Despite double-blinded studies proving this link to be non-existent, the condition is still recognised as a medical disorder.

In August, a French court awarded a 39-year-old woman a £500 monthly disability allowance, because of her allergic reaction to WiFi.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk
  • HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41