Two Florida lawmakers file measure to recognize abuses at Dozier school

University of South Florida associate professor Christian Wells attempts to cut loose a block of dirt and clay containing skeletal remains. Wet conditions meant that the team removed the remains encased in dirt so that they can be dried in a laboratory setting and then examined. from the University of South Florida removed the first remains from the cemetery at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla on Sept. 2, 2013.

TALLAHASSEE, FL —Two Florida lawmakers want to issue an official apology for the horrors and abuses that took place at the Arthur Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla.

More than 500 men have come forward with stories of physical, mental and sexual abuse they suffered at the a state-run institution that closed in 2011 after more than a century in operation, where 96 boys died.

Over 50 bodies have been found on the site, buried in unmarked graves and forgotten.

Most of the juveniles were sent to Dozier for minor offenses like skipping class, smoking and general bad behavior.

The victims were whipped, left in isolated “sweat boxes,”and in some cases shot or burned to death.

Representative Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville) and State Senator Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) have filed a measure to strongly condenmn the unspeakable abuses suffered by children sent to the school.

“The survivors of abuses at the Dozier School have suffered horrible physical and psychological damages that have plagued them for their entire lives,” Representative Tracie Davis said in a statement about the HR 1335/SR 1440 bill.

“We must acknowledge and remember that this atrocious cruelty was the daily reality for many children and that the brutality they experienced has no place in our society. This resolution is a commitment from the State of Florida to ensuring that our children will never again be subjected to such injustice,” asserted Davis.

The lawmakers say the resolution would recognize the unspeakable abuses suffered by the children sent to the school and ensure all of Florida’s children are protected from this kind of suffering.

 

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