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Dozier School

Dozier School For Boys
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

A House Democrat has filed a proposal that could be a step toward providing compensation to victims of abuse at two notorious state reform schools.

University of South Florida researchers in 2013 unearthed graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.
Pool Photo - 2013

No additional human remains were discovered as forensic experts completed a review of 27 sites around a shuttered Northwest Florida reform school where the remains of more than 50 people were unearthed in 2015.

Funding for a first-of-its-kind facility did not survive the Governor’s veto pen. That’s despite being named for an abused victim of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law allowing for the creation of memorials for boys who died from the abuse at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys as well as the abuse survivors.

Dozier Memorial Bill Goes To Gov. Scott

May 19, 2017

A bill authorizing the creation of memorials for the victims of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys was sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.

A bill creating memorials to remember the boys who died and were buried in unmarked graves on the Dozier School for Boys’ grounds is now heading to Governor Rick Scott. It’s part two of what the Florida legislature’s doing to help address the abuses that occurred at the school decades ago.

A bill formally apologizing to the victims of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys is now heading to the Senate floor, after passing its last committee Tuesday.

USF Department of Anthropology

The Tampa Bay History Center recently hosted a panel discussion on the now-closed Dozier School for Boys. The reform school in the Florida Panhandle has been known for decades for abuse, torture, and even murder.

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 a.m.), we are bringing you highlights of the discussion moderated by Tampa attorney and History Center Trustee Bob Bolt.

Katy Hennig/University of South Florida

Both the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Times are reporting that USF researchers sent to exhume the body of a boy who was killed at the infamous Dozier School for Boys in Marianna and buried in a Pennsylvania cemetery found nothing when they opened the casket.

Nothing, except for a few pieces of wood.

Here's what the Times wrote:

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

  It's taken University of South Florida researchers more than three years to provide one family with an answer they've been looking for, for more than 70 years.

The researchers uncovered remains from 55 unmarked graves on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna last year.  DNA testing has identified one set as belonging to George Owen Smith, who's believed to have died at age 14 -- shortly after being sent to the Florida Panhandle school in 1940.

USF Anthropologist Christian Wells says Smith was the first body found, but was in the worst shape.