- Jenny Fry suffered from electro-hypersensitivity, according to her parents
- She was found hanged in woodland in June this year after her parents claims she suffered from the WiFi at her school
- The teenager’s parents are now campaigning to remove the technology from classrooms
A schoolgirl was found dead in woodland after suffering an allergic reaction to her school’s WiFi that made her life a misery, an inquest heard.
The parents of 15-year-old Jenny Fry claim that she suffered from electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), which caused her to suffer tiredness, headaches and bladder problems.
Her mother Debra told the hearing that Jenny was badly affected by the wireless internet connections at Chipping Norton School in Oxfordshire, where she was a pupil.
After becoming increasingly distressed by her symptoms – which were never investigated by a doctor – the schoolgirl was found hanged in Brooke Woods, near her home in Chadlington, in June 11 this year.
Earlier in the day she had texted a friend telling her she was not going to school that day, the inquest heard.
Mrs Fry and her husband Charles Newman told Oxfordshire Coroners’ Court that they believed their daughter became ill because of WiFi, and had removed the internet connection from their own home.
They told today how she would often hide herself in empty classrooms and would only sit in certain seats in lessons so that she would be as far away from the router as possible, they said.
Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Fry said: WiFi and children do not mix. I believe that WiFi killed my daughter.’
Mrs Fry had told how Jenny started showing signs of EHS in November 2012. She said: ‘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.
‘I took lots of information into school to show the headteacher, 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.
Her mother added that Jenny died after a ‘cry for help’ because she was driven to despair by her WiFi allergy.
‘I think she was frustrated with school. She would not see a doctor but was seeing a counsellor at school who was helping her.
‘She had not made any suggestions she was thinking of suicide and I believe it was a cry for help.’
Jenny texted a friend twice on the morning of her death, telling her about her intentions and stating where she was, but the friend did not have her phone with her, the inquest heard.
Her mother added: ‘As soon as Jenny walked away from a router she felt instantly better so she was almost hunting out areas of the school which weren’t covered by WiFi just to do her work.
‘When she moved seats the teachers wouldn’t listen to her reasons and instead give her detentions.
‘I remember saying to the school “if someone had a peanut allergy you wouldn’t make them work surrounded by peanuts”.
‘Just because WiFi is new and all around us doesn’t mean it is safe.’
Recording a narrative verdict, Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said he was unable to rule out the possibility that Jenny intended to make a cry for help rather than taking her own life.
The inquest heard there were no medical notes to prove Jenny suffered from EHS.
Jenny’s parents are now campaigning to remove WiFi from nurseries and schools, and urging the government sponsor research into EHS.
Mrs Fry said: ‘I intend to carry on my campaign to highlight the dangers of WiFi.
‘I am not against a bit of technology but I do feel schools should be aware that some children are going to be sensitive to it and reduce its use.’
The couple also have two more children Greg, 25, and Emma, 14.
Simon Duffy, headteacher of Chipping Norton School, said: ‘The safety of our students whilst they are in school is paramount and Jenny’s safety at school was just as important as anyone else’s.
‘Just like many other public spaces, Chipping Norton School does have WiFi installed to enable use to operate effectively.
‘The governors are content that the installed equipment complies with the relevant regulations and will ensure this continues to be the case.’