Bodies Of ‘Disappeared’ Boys To Be Exhumed
In Florida

PBS / NPR "Here & Now"
With Robin Young & Jeremy Hobson
August 21, 2013

Roger Kiser Interview

Listen to Complete Interview:

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Dick Colon, a member of the White House Boys, walks through grave sites near the Arthur G.
Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla., Oct. 21, 2008. (Phil Coale/AP)
Roger Kiser kneels at the grave of
a fellow inmate at the Aurthur G.
Dozier School for Boys following
ceremonies dedicating a memorial
to the suffering of the White
House Boys, Oct. 21, 2008, in
Marianna, Fla. (Phil Coale/AP)
Roger Dean Kiser was 12 years old when he was first sent to the Florida School for Boys in Marianna. That was in 1959.

The state-run reform school became the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Roger Kiser kneels at the grave of a fellow inmate at the Aurthur G. Dozier School for Boys following ceremonies dedicating a
memorial to the suffering of the White House Boys, Oct. 21, 2008, in Marianna, Fla. (Phil Coale/AP)

In the 1950s and 1960s, former residents say they were beaten and some of their friends were killed.

“The first thing I noticed is men would come into the dorms at night and the boys would be taken out,” says Kiser. “Some would
never come back.”

The Dozier School was closed in 2011, but questions remain as to how many boys are buried on the property and who those
boys are.

Researchers have found evidence of nearly 100 deaths at the school.

Earlier this month, the Florida legislature approved the exhumation of the bodies at the school. The digging is slated to begin
Labor Day weekend.

Kiser says finally the “disappeared” boys will be reunited with their families and receive a proper burial.

“I think the governor, the state of Florida, owes every one of these boys a public apology,” he said.