SOULS DESTROYED IN MARIANNA
Courtesy Roger Kiser
Published: Sunday, June 5, 2011 at 1:00 a.m.
The May 31 article regarding the closure of the state-run school for boys in Marianna leaves me astonished.
My brother, John J. Hancock, was one of the many boys sentenced to the state's "care" in the mid- 1960s. He
was a beautiful teenager who made some wrong choices.
Unfortunately, he never spoke of the pain or the other unimaginable tactics employed by the "school." The
pain he witnessed, and likely suffered from as well, was certainly buried in his thoughts each day of his life. I
could not understand why he took his own life, at the age of 21, until now.
As I watch his beautiful daughter care for her family, and his great-grandson grow into a toddler, I am forever
saddened by the wrong choices my brother made, choices that should not have made him a victim of the
state-run facility. I am enraged by the number of years, one hundred and eleven, in which many other young
boys suffered at the hands of "caretakers." Certainly, I agree with Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore
of the St. Petersburg Times, "one thing that has been consistent: Boys have gone in damaged and come out
The real delinquents are the officials who turned a blind eye and allowed these horrors to continue — until
the money ran out. In memory of our beloved brother, John J. Hancock, born with hope March 30, 1952 -
Aug. 17, 1973.