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Letter: Connect the dots

Knowledge is power so I am grateful for Chris Collins column about the untold story of most of the impacts on Greenfield’s town services, schools and future unknown costs. I hope Chris will do more reporting on Massachusetts’ status as a “right to shelter.” What do those words mean?

What do many words mean now a days? Actually whatever we are told they mean.

Many folks would be shocked to hear about the amount of violence in even elementary schools. Why do we not know of this? The right to privacy has become a shield to keep the public in the dark. Now that we rats are so stressed we are turning on one another, maybe staff will feel empowered to speak out about the daily violence they are seeing in schools.

So what is the connection to the current homeless situation? It is all part of a failing system.

In my experiences I see so much of the problem emanating from the Legislature. I am no longer impressed by good intentions. Since the mid 1970s, Massachusetts has required each town to have at least 10 percent of its housing stock for low-income. Sounds reasonable until you consider the needs of homeless or low-income people. At UMass-Boston, I learned to consider transportation, medical and employment needs before housing placements. Arbitrary rules from Boston frequently make no sense here.

Let’s connect the dots. We have so-called social welfare laws that now directly contribute to a permanent, multi-generational underclass. In chapter 17 of my book, “A Grandmother’s Essays on Education,” I wrote about poverty as I have seen firsthand its impact on our schools. It is time for more people to ask questions and then consider the answers from our elected leaders.

MARGUERITE MORRIS WILLIS

Charlemont

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