Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dark history of the Fernald School

Last night, I played soccer at the Fernald School in Waltham. The school, once known as "Massachusetts School for Idiotic Children" (well before the days of political correctness, obviously), has a long and dark history. I'm amazed that it's still open. Many of my teammates were aware of the scandal associated with the school- during the 1940s and 1950s, scientists from MIT and Harvard performed experiments on the children. The boys thought that they were participating in "Science Club," but they were actually being fed radioactive oatmeal and injected with radioactive isotopes. Yeah, that's fucked up. Many of the boys kept at the institution were not mentally disabled, but poor and from broken homes. Here's an article about the school and the Eugenics movement in early 20th century United States.


Kevin said...

I can't believe I had never heard of this place before. Quite an interesting story. Where's the Hollywood movie about all this?

eileen said...

I hadn't heard of it either until I mentioned that I was playing soccer there to my grandmother, who lives in Waltham. She told me all about it, and then I found some articles online. Pretty f-ed up stuff.