(Photo: Meggan Haller/New York Times)
In 2011, reform institution Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida closed down following revelations that it had physically and sexually abused hundreds of boys. More than 100 boys are thought to have died there, about 55 of whom were buried on grounds.
On Tuesday April 4, The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill and apologized to the victims and their families. Florida’s speaker of the house, Richard Corcoran said in a news conference, “I cannot say with enough heartfelt remorse that it’s taken this long for a legislature, with all the evidence that is before us, to come forth and apologize for what has to be one of the blackest moments on our history.”
Bill Price lived at Dozier School for Boys in the 60’s and is now the vice president the victims group White House Boys, made up of about 450 members. Its name comes from a white building on campus, where beatings regularly occurred. To paint a picture of the horrid events which took place at Dozier, Price shares, “After I was beaten, they had to help me off the bed and wrapped me in a towel to hide the blood and sent me to the infirmary to be cleaned up and returned to my dorm.” He feels the apology is overdue by ten years, but accepts it. The abuse which took place at Dozier is intensified by the fact that most of the victims were black.
On implications for the passing bill, Dr. Kimmerle writes, “There are children in great need throughout this state, and I think whatever state leaders and policy-makers can do to ensure that, not just that it doesn’t happen again, but that everything is done to protect them.”
Alanna Shingler Staff Reporter