Daytona Beach Morning Journal, March 21, 1968,
Kirk accused of Cruel, Callous Act
State schools Superintendent Lloyd Christian Wednesday accused Gov. Kirk of committing a cruel and callous act,
by using the poor conditions at Marianna Boys School, for obvious political purposes.
Kerk, meanwhile, stressed again in a news conference at the detention Institute for boys 14 to 17 year old, must be
cleaned up and said he doesn't blame the boys who are the sent there for running away.
Christian, says he regreted that the governor used his Tuesday visit for his own gain, instead of trying to help solve
what is already a bad situation, he charged in a prepared statement that Kirk is responsible for blocking efforts of the
Legislature and the Cabinet to approve conditions at Marianna.
Christian is chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Youth Services
The superintendent said Kirk vetoed $678,590 in appropriations for the the the Division of Youth Services, which
included 86,790 for 40 new staff position at Marianna during the 1967 legislative session.
US Department of Health Education and Welfare made an extensive survey of the school and announced last
December that it was "one of the worst examples of a boy's reform school in the nation" he said.
He said the youth services director Oliver J. Keller was assigned to reduce enrollment and improve Marianna as
rapidly as possible when he was hired.
Christian said $225,000 was spent to improve Marianna in the 1965-67 biennium and another $83,000 is in the
1987-69 budget. Construction of a new $350,000 hospital has been delayed because of the state budget deficit, he
It is unfortunate that, after the governor's visit, he rushed to make a publicity seeking statement without first having
talked to the director and to the subcommittee to see what is being done to improve the situation, the superintendent
He continued: His public announcement, made prior to consulting with the persons responsible for the program, only
would indicate to me that his real interest is in improving his political image, rather than improving the institution.
Kirk said money for Marianna wasn't enough because it didn't improve conditions quickly enough. "You've got a
problem sent less do something about it today."
He said something must be done right away even if it means having the National Guard set up a temporary hospital.
The governor said he has told Keller to submit a seven day plan for improving Marianna by Friday and he just
ordered the state board of Health to inspect the hospital and the State Hotel and Restaurant commission to look at
the kitchen facilities at the school.
I've got kids there today. If they were your kids, you'd be raising mortal hell about it, he said. I don't blame the kids for
If you put me in there, you'd find old Claude Jr. walking down the road. I'd crawl. If I were sick, I wouldn't stay there in