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Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys

Area lawmakers, Dozier survivor pitch Pasco forensics lab to Rick Scott

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Legislators from Pasco County urged Gov. Rick Scott Monday to approve legislation authorizing construction of a $4.3 million criminal forensics laboratory there that would attack the state’s 16,000-case backlog of unsolved murders. “This is not about Pasco County. This is about the entire state,” Sen. Wilton Simpson said. The project would “greatly expand law enforcement’s ability as it relates to terrorism and as it relates to cold cases,” he said. “This project is going to change lives, and it’s going…

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Bill to rebury Dozier victims, create memorial, on way to Rick Scott

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The Florida Legislature has voted to rebury the bodies of children whose remains were found on the site of a now-shuttered reform school. The Florida Senate voted unanimously for a bill Friday that would also set aside money to build two memorials regarding the boys who lived and died at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. The bill heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. Nearly 100 boys died between 1900 and 1973 at the school located near…

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Senate sends Dozier school memorial bill to governor’s desk

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Legislation to erect memorials to boys who suffered abuse and death at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna was headed to the governor’s desk Friday following final approval by the Senate. The vote to adopt HB 7115 was 35-0. The measure passed the House, 117-0, on April 18. Sponsor Darryl Rouson said the measure would provide “a respectful burial to the inidentified, unclaims remains” of the victims of a 1914 dormitory fire at Boot Hill Cemetery on…

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Florida Senate votes apology for abuse at Dozier School for Boys

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The Senate voted, 35-0, Wednesday to apologize for decades of abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and Florida Schools for Boys at Okeechobee. Addressing 14 middle-aged and elderly survivors viewing from the Senate gallery, Sen. Daryl Rouson said: “We say to you, we apologize. We are sorry.” The House voted to apologize on April 18. CS/SR 1440 details the history of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by school staff from the 1940s through the 1960s. A forensic…

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Reform school horrors relived as Florida prepares an apology

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Several men painfully recalled being beaten and sexually abused at a north Florida reform school as the state begins the steps to formally apologize for the horrors they endured more than 50 years ago. A Senate bill to recognize the abuse at the now-shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. House Speaker Richard Corcoran later met with men who were abused at the school during the late 1950s…

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Darryl E. Owens: Proposals for offsite reform school memorial insults memory of dead Dozier boys

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Emotion drenched the first meeting last week in Marianna of the state task force charged with deciding how Florida memorializes dead boys who possibly endured unspeakable depravity at the shuttered state-run Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. For two years, University of South Florida researchers scoured the nearly 1,400-acre grounds. Their sleuthing unearthed 51 sets of remains dumped in the Boot Hill Burial Ground. Researchers identified 21 bodies rescued from obscurity from the unmarked graveyard. With marching orders from the…

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No charges related to abuse allegations at Florida school

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No one will be charged in connection with allegations of sexual abuse and murder at a now-shuttered reform school for boys in Florida, with prosecutors saying the passage of time has erased crucial evidence and left many potential witnesses dead. State Attorney Glenn Hess, the lead prosecutor for six north Florida counties, told state investigators in late May there was no way to bring charges after authorities quietly investigated for two years. Fifty alleged victims have come forward. “While wine…

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