Task force makes Dozier recommendations

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – The Dozier School for Boys – the panhandle reform school and site of alleged child beatings, sexual abuses, and murders – still stands.

But as Matt Galka tells us, a statewide panel was appointed to try and come up with a proper memorial, and in their final meeting – solutions were hard to come by.

What should happen to the Dozier School for Boys – the reform school caused immeasurable pain for so many.  A state assembled panel had plenty of ideas Friday.

Rep. Ken Roberson/(R) Punta Gorda

“A large memorial of solid, grey-blue granite, a monument to commemorate the lives of the boys who died at the school,” said Rep. Ken Roberson (R-Punta Gorda) who has substantial funeral experience.

“It would provide community meeting space for living into forgiveness and embrace here in this county,” said Rev. Russel Meyer.

“We in Gadsden County, we are fully willing to accept those remains if the state is willing to work with us,” said Stephen Britt, who’s uncle’s remains were found at the school.

But for people who actually spent time at Dozier, there are two very different sides of the issue.

Charles Fudge is part of the White House Boys – a group that says they were victims of notorious beatings at Dozier in the early 60’s. He doesn’t want remains anywhere near the site.

“Those boys died because they tried to run away and leave there, why would we want to leave their bodies there?” he said.

But Richard Huntly – sent to Dozier from Orlando for truancy – feels like sending remains elsewhere like Tampa – an idea that was pitched – would gloss over the school’s awful history.

“Why would something happen in Jackson County but now you got it over in Tampa? Why? Because you don’t want that on your hands,” he said.

The task force voted to rebury remains of victims in Tallahassee, with two memorials – one in Jackson County and one in Tallahassee. The legislature and cabinet will receive the recommendations and ultimately have the final say.

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