State Board To Meet On Boy Beating
In reading this article, I have to wonder how many judges, senators, governors, protests from others.
Mothers does it take over a period of 50 years before somebody gets it into their head that beating boys
simply will not work. Mrs. LJ McCafferty, chairman of the commission obviously didn't know superintendent
Dozier, as well as she thought she did. Superintendent Dozier, matted out these punishments with vigor,
and over and a long number of years. Oliver J. Keller banned the strap and paddles. It was Arthur Dozier,
who worked for Oliver J. Keller, and by protesting to the legislature was able once again, to ensure that
boys would suffer these beatings.
The fact that the school retains the name of Arthur Dozier is an insult to every boy that ever walked
through those gates. Mrs. McCaffrey was just another victim of the illusion of beauty that this school
projected. It was at the time when I was there, quite beautiful, and the bucolic nature that was hidden
behind this beauty could hardly be imagined. With the number of cottage fathers and psychiatric staff that
quit over this brutality, one would think that Arthur Dozier would have gotten the point.
In truth he did not get the point, for him Corporal punishment was the only solution. In a letter dated
February 13, 1946 to Mr. Roy L. McLaughlin, superintendent of the Connecticut school for boys, Arthur G.
Dozier, superintendent of FSB stated, we are faced with a building program and among the things included
is a secure unit for juveniles which I expect to attempt to persuade the powers that be is not desirable for
In plain language, given a job of building a secure unit, Arthur G. Dozier had no intention of doing
so as he favored flogging the boys instead. In the same letter he states:
We dispensed with confinement in any form as a disciplinary measure in this institution but have retained
Cpl. punishment as a major in certain cases. The guides and goals, prepared by the children's Bureau of
the US Department of Health education and welfare, and the national Association of training schools and
juvenile agencies, meant nothing to this man.
It was stated in this article that beating may make a boy abnormally submissive or the boy may be,
abnormally resentful and hostile to all authority. Out of a possible hundred and 40 men that I talked to who
called me after this story broke, I would say that 85% of them had a definite anger problem or even worse
This article was written in 1958 and talks of mothers of boys that complained about the beatings, boys that
were graduates of the school, who told stories of heavy regular whippings, just how many complaints and
voices will it take before the state of Florida admits that it let a terrible mistake continue for years. Blood
was certainly shed at that institution, and it was shed by the young and helpless, who were under the care
of the state of Florida. Florida failed them miserably.
Now 52 years later, over 300 men, unknown to each other, living in different parts of the country, all have
the same tale to tell. The description of the room they were beaten in, the people that beat them named,
scars to show after 50 years, still the state of Florida remains in denial. No sooner had the plaque been
placed on the White House, that the next day the officials at FSB at Dozier, stated that the plaque was
neither an admission or an apology. People of the town in a meeting requested Sen. Al Lawson to see if he
could get have the plaque removed, as it was a stain on the town.
The town was, has been and still is in league with the officials of this institution. Being a small town,
Marianna has depended greatly on the jobs at this institution offers, not to mention the money that has
been passed under the table, for the sale of goods, the use of children as slave laborers in the farmer's
fields outside of the institution, all of this created a situation by which the institution and the town itself were
bound in an unholy alliance. Most of the population of Marianna knew about the beatings of the boys. But
to talk about it to anyone outside of the town or the institution, could be a dangerous undertaking. I have
told reporters more than once that these abuses were not carried out by everyone at the institution, it was
in the hands of the few and not the many. The town of Marianna may feel that they are getting a black eye
by all of the press over this story. Yet not one of them has shown the courage to stand up and confirm that
these beatings did take place. Nobody wants to be the one to blow the whistle in Marianna.