Victims Praise Senator for Federal Probe of School
Senator Bill Nelson is asking the Department of Justice to investigate the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida as to the allegations of decades of abuse and death brought upon the students who resided there. The senator requested that the Department of Justice conduct and investigate into the deaths and burials of dozens of boys at the now-closed reform school.
Request for Investigation
“I believe it’s now time for the U.S. Department of Justice who is uniquely positioned to provide an outside and independent review, to get into it and find out why the state of Florida said there were only 31 graves when in fact there were 51 that have now been uncovered by the University of South Florida,” wrote the senator. Florida citizens, especially relatives of the “White House boys,” deserve to know the full truth about the cruelty and suffering inflicted on children at that facility.
Five years ago, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement performed an investigation that found no criminal wrongdoing at the school; however, anthropologists at the University of South Florida have claimed that the burial records at the school do not match with the remains found on the grounds. Excavators have found twenty more bodies on the school grounds than were listed with the FDLE.
The White House Boys
A group of men who were past students at the school were named in subsequent media stories as the “White House Boys,” after the squat, cinder block building where they had been beaten bloody in the 1950s and 60s. Hundreds of men have now come forward to tell their horrifying tales of abuse and torture that they suffered at the school. As of now, researchers know that at least 81 boys died there, but so far only the remains of 55 boys have been found.
One former student, Jerry Cooper, recalls his time as a student at Dozier. He recounted the time when school staff got him out of bed at 2 a.m. took him to the White House. He says they threw him on a bed, tied his feet and began beating him with a leather strap. “The first blow lifted me a foot and a half off that bed and every time that strap would come down, you could hear the shuffle on the concrete because their shoes would slide.” Mr. Cooper passed out, but a boy in the next room later told him he counted 135 lashes.
The founder of the White House Boys group, Roger Kiser, has written about his experiences at Dozier in the late 1950s. “I know of one that I personally saw die in the bathtub that had been beaten half to death. I thought he’d been mauled by the dogs because I thought he had ran. I never did find out the true story on that. There was the boy I saw who was dead who came out of the dryer. They put him in one of those large dryers.”
Call a Florida Attorney Today
The Director of SNAP has stated that “Florida citizens, especially relatives of the ‘White House boys’ deserve to know the full truth about the cruelty and suffering inflicted on children at that facility . . . We hope federal officials will honor Senator Nelson’s request and use their experience, expertise and resources to shed more light on the horrific wrongdoing these boys endured.” If you or a loved one suffered abuse at the Dozier School or at the hands of another, let the experienced attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates help. Call or contact the office today for a free and private review of your claims.