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Rick Scott OKs two memorials for Dozier School abuse deaths, rebury victims

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott signed a new law Friday allowing for the creation of memorials for boys who died from abuse at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys as well as abuse survivors.

The bill sets aside $1.2 million to build two memorials regarding the boys who lived and died at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Nearly 100 boys died between 1900 and 1973 at the school located near Marianna, some 60 miles west of Tallahassee.

The bill authorizes the creation of a memorial at the state Capitol and one near Marianna. It also calls for reburying victims of a 1914 fire at the school cemetery in Marianna, and rebury other remains in Tallahassee.

The legislation would also allow portions of the shuttered campus to be turned over to Jackson County.

“Today’s signing, coupled with an official apology led by the House earlier this year, will hopefully bring some closure and healing to all those affected directly or indirectly by the atrocities that occurred at the Arthur Dozier School for Boys,” said House Speaker Richard Corcoran. “I thank Governor Scott for signing this legislation; I thank the many House and Senate Members who passionately took up this cause, and look forward to seeing the construction of a memorial that is a tribute to those lost and a testament to the strength of those who never gave up the fight.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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