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Marianna Residents Unhappy with Dig for Graves at Dozier School

On Saturday, researchers from the University of South Florida will converge on the sleepy Florida Panhandle town of Marianna to start digging up graves at the closed Dozier School for Boys.

Former students have told stories of abuse, torture and death at the reform school dating back to more than sixty years ago.

Many Marianna residents are tight-lipped about the dig. Business leaders won't speak on camera, fearing what their customers might think.

Longtime resident Bill Hopkins says whatever happened at the school, it should be left in the past and not allowed to reflect poorly on the town now.

"This is a good community, a good place to live, a good place to bring up children", Hopkins  said. "But if I were looking for a place to move, I don’t know if whether reading it and knowing a little about it, you know I might change my mind."

The state-runDozierSchool closed in 2011 after operating for more than one hundred years.

USF researchers believe there are more than fifty unmarked graves on the property.

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Margie Menzel
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