Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Darryl Rouson files Dozier School apology bill

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Countless young Floridian men were brutalized at the Dozier School in Marianna up until 2011.

Two Florida Democrats, St. Petersburg Sen. Darryl Rouson and Jacksonville Rep. Tracie Davis, believe that it is time for the state to answer for the abuse conducted over a staggering 111 years.

HR 1335/SR 1440 were filed, asserts a press release from the legislators, “to strongly condemn and apologize for the horrors and abuses” at the Jackson County reform school, which routinely saw human rights violations imposed to punish infractions as innocuous as smoking tobacco.

Over 50 people died there over the years, shipped to Dozier never to return home, buried in unmarked graves on the school’s grounds.

Those who made it out suffered as well.

“The survivors of abuses at the Dozier School have suffered horrible physical and psychological damages that have plagued them for their entire lives,” Rep. Davis, a Jacksonville legislator, asserted.

“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,” Davis continued.

“With this resolution, we affirm that this state recognizes the cruelty, abuse and violation of fundamental human decency many boys faced at Dozier during its 111-year operation,” stated Sen. Darryl Rouson.

“We must ensure tragedies like this never occur again within our state,” Rouson continued.

A.G. Gancarski has written a weekly column for Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly since 2003. His writings on politics, culture, and sport have appeared in the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and the American Conservative. His radio and TV appearances include frequent contributions to WJCT-FM (Jacksonville’s Public Radio station); additionally, he has been a guest on Huff Post Live and the Savage Nation radio show. Gancarski can be reached at

Latest from The Bay and the 'Burg

Go to Top