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Waltham, state must protect people’s privacy, resident writes

UPDATED Jan. 29: The following letter by June Elizabeth Rowe of Arlington was published Jan. 21 in under the title "‘A last indignity’ at Fernald: records strewn about crumbling site. It is republished with the author's permission.

Globe editorial calls for action


"I was aghast when I read the article by Oliver Egger, with photos by Bryan Parcival, about Fernald client records being abandoned and strewn inside the buildings and around the property ('The shameful afterlife of the Fernald School in Waltham,' Ideas, Jan. 14). For many years I was employed at what is now the Department of Developmental Services, working to move individuals from Fernald and other Massachusetts institutions into the community. It was a relief when, one by one, these hellholes were closed and we could be assured that they would never warehouse and mistreat people again.

"So here we are, once again degrading individuals with disabilities by abandoning their personal records. Shame on the City of Waltham for not securing these records as it promised when it purchased the Fernald. Shame on the state Division of Capital Asset Management and the Department of Developmental Services for bickering over who should secure this information. All should step in right now and honor the people who lived and, in many cases, died under dehumanizing conditions by immediately gathering up and appropriately storing their records."

This letter was republished Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. It was updated Jan. 29, to add link to Globe editorial.

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Thursday, 13 June 2024

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