DOZIER SCHOOL FOR BOYS
A Florida Democratic state Senator, Al Lawson, denied he had ever heard any complaints.
State Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, said he has heard no complaints about the school.
To his credit he later expressed concern. But here is the worst part. While he was later speaking at a Chamber of
Commerce meeting in Marianna, someone in the audience asked that the plaque that was put up to seal the White
House be taken down.
He agreed to try to get it taken down. That is to his shame.
The Times reporters said that 11 days later a boy was "kicked and stomped" by other inmates, then he was placed in
isolation. He was denied the right to call the abuse hotline.
If I were to meet Al Lawson, a Democrat, face to face I would ask him why in the world he would agree to take down a
plaque which vowed no more abuse to Florida's children.
Lawson was willing to take down the plaque which read:
In memory of the children who passed these doors, we acknowledge their tribulations and offer our hope that they
have found some measure of peace. May this building stand as a reminder of the need to remain vigilant in
protecting our children as we help them seek a brighter future."
When I say our Florida Democrats are different, this is the kind of thing I mean. It was failure to see that the plaque
was supposed to be not just a seal, but a closure on the past. I would like to remind him of that.
Sen. Al Lawson tribute held at the Capitol
By Bill Cotterell • Florida Capital Bureau • April 27, 2010
The Florida Senate paid a warm tribute to the longest-serving state legislator Tuesday.
"Well," said Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, "it's been a long ride."
Lawson, the Senate Democratic leader, has been in the Legislature since 1982. He spent 18 years in the
House and was elected to the Senate in 2000.
Forced out by term limits, Lawson is now running for Congress in the sprawling 2nd District, which includes
most of the Panhandle and Big Bend.
For more than an hour, Lawson and his colleagues told stories about past legislative battles, political
campaigns and public events.
Lawson, a former chairman of the Legislative black caucus, recalled growing up in segregated Gadsden
County in the 1950s and working with educators, legislators, governors, lobbyists and legislative staffers for
nearly 30 years.
Members took turns praising Lawson for his efforts on behalf of state employees, Tallahassee's two
universities and governmental efficiency.
The Senate presented him a framed copy of the 1994 Rosewood legislation, which set up a compensation
plan and scholarship fund for survivors and descendants of the 1923 racist attack on a small town that was
burned to the ground.
TO THE READER: Note that it was Michael O'McCarthy, one of the original four "whitehouseboys", who
died April 3rd, that helped expose the Rosewood massacre and also did much to expose the abuse that
took place at the Florida School for Boys in Marianna, a story that went nationwide four times and
prompted an investigation of the school by Governor Crist . Where is Michael's tribute? He deserves
something for the 2+ years he spent on this story.
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever
cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.--Arthur Ashe