ON NEWS PAGE AT: http://whitehouseboys.com

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1169888.html

Senator: Compensate injured victims of reform school

A state senator says the victims of abuse at a Florida reform school should be
compensated for injuries.

Similar stories:

•FDLE: No evidence of coverup in beatings at boys' school
FDLE: No evidence of coverup in beatings at boys' school
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday there is no evidence to conclude that officials at the Dozier
School for Boys in Marianna covered up any beating deaths in the anonymous graves on school property.

Using officials records of the school and state, as well as interviews with more than 100 former students and staff of
the school, state investigators concluded that there were 31 bodies buried at the school between 1914 and 1952
and each of the deaths were attributable to a known cause.

''There is no evidence to suggest that the school or the staff made any attempt to conceal any other deaths,'' said
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey at a news conference Friday.

•Inquiry urged into remains buried at school for boys
Inquiry urged into remains buried at school for boys

Convinced the 32 unmarked graves at the Florida School for Boys in Marianna are the bodies of boys abused and
killed decades ago there, four former residents of the school are demanding the governor and state and federal
attorneys investigate.

The four men, all of whom suffered from brutal beatings while students at the Marianna-based school for delinquent
boys in the late 1950s, sent letters to Gov. Charlie Crist, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney
general alleging that the boys were victims of state-sponsored hate crimes and murder.

Their goal, they said, is for ''every last child, Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American who disappeared from the
Florida School for Boys [to be] accounted for and, whatever relatives he may have, be given peace at last,'' said
Michael O'McCarthy, 66, who resided at the school in 1958-59.

•Probe finds no coverup of beating deaths at boys' school
Probe finds no coverup of beating deaths at boys' school
In the first report on abuse allegations at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, state officials said Friday there is
no evidence that the anonymous graves at the site were used to cover up beating deaths at the school -- a finding
that has outraged several former students who were detained at the school.

The report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that there were 31 bodies buried at the school
between 1914 and 1952 and each of the deaths was attributable to a known cause.

''There is no evidence to suggest that the school or the staff made any attempt to conceal any other deaths,'' FDLE
Commissioner Gerald Bailey said at a news conference Friday.

•Inquiry urged into remains buried at school for boys
Inquiry urged into remains buried at school for boys
Convinced the 32 unmarked graves at the Florida School for Boys in Marianna are the bodies of boys abused and
killed there decades ago, four former residents of the school are demanding the governor and state and federal
attorneys investigate.

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Courthouse on Monday, the men recounted painful memories of their classmates
who disappeared decades ago after brutal beatings or torture at the school for delinquent boys. They asked Gov.
Charlie Crist and U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to identify the remains to bring the families peace.

The graves were on what officials once called ''the colored side'' of the school. The men now believe they remain
unmarked ''to hide the nature of those children's deaths,'' said Michael O'McCarthy, 66, who resided at the school in
1958-59.

BY MARY ELLEN KLAS
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- TALLAHASSEE Victims of abuse at the Florida Reform School for Boys should be compensated
for their injuries at the hands of school staff during the 1940s, '50s and '60s, a Tampa state senator said in a bill
filed on Friday.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Democrat and lawyer, filed the claims bills to pay an undetermined amount to the victims
known collectively as the White House Boys, a reference to the white cinder-block house where the boys at the
reform school in Marianna were sent for beatings.

Joyner's bill says that boys at both the Marianna and Okeechobee campuses suffered ``physical and psychological
abuse'' that ``included beatings in which the boys were forced to lie face down on a blood-stained cot'' and were
``struck repeatedly with a leather razor strap.''

The bill details many of the allegations made by former students of the schools, which were first reported by The
Miami Herald and later detailed by the St. Petersburg Times and other news organizations.

``Some boys as young as 10 years of age were severely beaten, requiring the pieces of their cotton underwear be
extracted from the boys' flesh,'' the bill reads. Other victims ``needed medical attention,'' and others ``were placed in
solitary confirnement for as many as 30 days'' in an eight-foot windowless cell with a bunk and a bucket.

The news reports prompted Gov. Charlie Crist to order an investigation into 31 unmarked graves at the Marianna
school in December.

In May, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that there was no evidence that the graves held the
remains of abused boys or that state officials covered up abuse. It found that there were 31 bodies buried at the
school between 1914 and 1952 and each of the deaths was attributable to a known cause.

Hundreds of the alleged victims have since filed a class-action lawsuit in Pinellas County circuit court. The suit now
has more than 400 claimants ``and is growing daily,'' said attorney Greg Hoag.

The bill says that the class-action claimants are willing to hold off their lawsuit while the Legislature considers the
claims bill. The bill also would limit the attorneys' proceeds in the case to 25 percent.

BY MARY ELLEN KLAS
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau


Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at meklas@MiamiHerald.com