Sen. Nelson critical of state response on Dozier - WFLA News Channel 8

Sen. Nelson critical of state response on Dozier

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The Dozier school for boys was located in Marianna, just west of Tallahassee. The site opened in 1914 as a reform school for boys.

It has also become known as a place of torture for the boys who were sent there.

Recently grown men who attended the reform school as children have opened up about their experiences there.

Many say they were beaten and they believe some who were sent there died as a result of the beatings.

Families of some of the former attendees say they want answers about the disappearance of their loved ones.

Researchers from the University of South Florida have uncovered a number of suspected graves at the Marianna location.

The Florida State Legislature approved funding for the graves to be exhumed.

Now the state is blocking the work.

The Florida Secretary of State says his agency does not have the authority to issue permits for the work.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson says that's a dodge.

Senator Nelson says, "This is a good example of the ridicules stance that the State of Florida has taken and I believe this is under the direct, direction of the governor."

Nelson has gone to the site and met with the families of missing boys.

He says the families deserve closure, "Why should not the families be allowed to have closure brought to their missing loved ones that disappeared at the old Marianna Boys School."

An attorney for USF sent a letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Monday.

Nelson praised the USF response, "The appeal that University of South Florida made today makes hash, mincemeat out of the State of Florida's argument."

Nelson says the work could go on and the families could have their answers if the governor would simply approve it, "All it would take is the governor to say I want to help these families bring closure to their missing loved ones and it would happen in a nanosecond."

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