If you do not believe us, The White House Boys, then do you believe the words from your own peers on the flogging
and abuse at Dozier/Florida School for Boys?
January 5, 2013 19 NAMED WITNESSES
We have been involved in the exposé of the brutal abuse of children at the Dozier/Florida School For Boys since September 2007. The historical record is now widely
publicized: for 111 years state officials, elected, appointed and employed, whipped boys (flogging) from 8-17 years of age with leather whips, inflicting 15-25-50-75
and up to 100 lashes if they tried to run away. This was flogging IE: a leather whip with a handle. The record exposed the use of child labor to benefit the private
citizens of the Marianna area. Newspaper articles and visits from various elected and private individuals repeatedly made know the systemic, inhumane treatment lay
upon these children. In spite of their efforts it was not until 1968 that the lashings were stopped by O.J. Keller under the Governor Claude Kirk administration.
Previously, in 1922 Governor Hardee banned flogging of all prisoners as "too brutal a punishment for even hardened convicts" when a young man, Martin Tabert,
was whipped to death. The flogging of boys at Marianna went on for 45 more years after that ban.
The FDLE Investigative Summery states: "With the passage of over fifty years, no tangible physical evidence was found to either support or refute
the allegations of physical or sexual abuse." The victims denounce this statement as false with 18 named historical witnesses, some still alive, that
witnessed the floggings or abuse, not to mention the men who have come forward. None of the men who have scars were on the FDLE report. The
report was a flimsy cover-up intended to deceive the citizens of Florida: This link is our rebuttal with credible sources for every statement.
DIRECT STATEMENTS FROM WITNESSES WHO WORKED AT THE SCHOOL OR WITNESSED THE ABUSE
The Times Courier of Marianna January 24, 1918
The Attorney General of Florida, Van C. Swearingen visited the Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna. After viewing the school he made the following
remark: “This does not appear to me to be a school and is merely a prison for boys. I announce that I am going to try and advocate reforms that would make it a
school instead of a detention camp for bad boys.”
Andrew Bowers, a chaplain at the Dozier School from 1959 to 1963, recalls: For most of its history, Dozier freely practiced flogging as a method of discipline, or
as a matter of whim. Mr. Bowers remembers, "They would spank the boys when they did wrong or really whenever they wanted to. Some of them they treated pretty
badly. Sometimes they'd spank the children until they couldn't sit down for days. Many beatings were administered with a "weighted leather flogging strap."
The Miami News, March 6, 1958: A study made of 250 white boys committed at one time to Marianna showed that at that point been given 691 whippings among
them. Eleven year old boys received 260 or 38% of the beatings, and 17-year-old boys receive 21, or 3%. The older the boy, the fewer the beatings he received,
records of the school showed at that time.
Audie E. Langston, former state superintendent said he didn't want to talk. "I just happened to be there when they caught a kid who was a runner. They caught
him and took him into that building and one of the guys said, 'You should see this” Langston said in a short interview. "It was not a good thing. The people who were
doing it thought they needed that method of control." Back then, Langston wrote a letter to his boss, O.J. Keller. He called what he saw "sickening."
"A young boy [was] taken into a stark, bare, dimly lit room where he was compelled to lie on a small cot and receive licks with a heavy leather strap. The strap was
wielded by a man who was at least six foot 3 inches tall and weighed well over 200 pounds. His swing could be likened to a strong tennis serve as with a whip like
effect at the end of the downswing. The results are sickening. The child quivers and writhes in a contorted manner from the pain of a sadistic treatment. It is not only
repulsive but somewhat criminal in nature." Source: http://tinyurl.com/prkczus
A former house father at the school also sent Keller a letter, published in the Miami News, saying, "The belt falls between eight and 100 times. After about the tenth
stroke, the seams of the sturdiest blue jeans begin to separate and numerous times the boys' skin is broken to the extent that stitches are required."
A supervisor who trained for a year at Marianna described a boy's buttocks as "bleeding profusely; the skin was broken, and the color of his buttocks was green,
blue, red and purplish. It reminded me of the Dark Ages." He was fired. Source: http://tinyurl.com/ngxpu3v
Senate President Louis De La Parte' who hearing of the beatings, drove to FSB and came back to report to the local newspapers of "a blood splattered shed"
which called for a state grand jury to intervene. This was squelched by Dempsey Barron, a legislative powerhouse. http://tinyurl.com/l8zw74e
Judge Frank Orlando, of Fort Lauderdale stated: "When a couple of boys I sent up there came over to say hello I felt like a rat for sending them to that place."
Dr. Eugene Byrd, former psychiatrist at FSB In March 1958, a Miami psychologist and former staff member at the school told a U.S. Senate committee about
mass beatings with a heavy, 3 ½-inch-wide leather strap. "The blows are very severe," Dr. Eugene Byrd testified. "They are dealt with a great deal of force with a full
arm swing over his head and down, with a strap, a leather strap approximately a half-inch thick and about 10 inches long with a wooden formed handle."
"What is your opinion?" a senator asked. Dr. Byrd replied: "In my personal opinion it is brutality." Source: http://tinyurl.com/plqzld4
Governor Claude Kirk: "If one of your kids were kept in such circumstances you'd be up here with rifles" Kirk said after a half day tour of the schools at Marianna
and Okeechobee. "Somebody should have blown the whistle on Marianna a long time ago"
In 1983, the class-action "Bobby M" lawsuit was filed on behalf of students at Marianna and two other state reform schools.
Jack Levine, child advocate and Claudia Wright, Attorney for the Civil Liberties Union, took an unannounced trip to FSB and found boys as young as ten
were being hogtied. They followed up with a class action law suite which eventually made major changes in the DJJ system. Jack Levine stated: "There have been
cosmetic changes," he said. "While the leather strap seems to have been taken away, the threat of violence and the lack of competent supervision and safety
management appear to not have been reformed to any appreciable degree." "The management at Dozier is failing miserably," he said. "There's either an ignorance
of what should be done or an incompetence of how to do it correctly. In either case, the youth suffer needlessly."
Claudia Wright, who had been an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union on the Bobby M. Case, has heard rumors that the Dozier graves contain the
bodies of children killed at the hands of their captors. While no evidence surfaced in that probe, Wright said the oppressive and brutal environment that existed at
Dozier is no folk tale.
Jack Levine: "I saw it, I smelled it, I experienced the fear and the wrongs that were being done to those young people, and while I never met many who were behind
those fences, I met enough young people to know that it was the wrong place for them," said Levine, the children's rights advocate whose visit to the school
prompted the suit. "You don't have to see all the faces to recognize that there were wrongs that were being committed there that needed to be corrected."
One Sunday afternoon in November, Levine drove up to the entry gate and showed Health and Rehabilitative Services credentials. He found a lockup facility at the
back of the campus. He could see a long hallway lined with metal doors. It was dark and reeked of body odor and urine.
"Are there kids in here?" "Yeah," said the guard. Levine: "I want to meet one. How about this cell?" Inside on a concrete slab, not a mattress, Levine saw a very
thin, small, frightened boy with a shaved head and pajama bottoms, no shirt. "How long have you been in here?" Levine asked. The boy shrugged. "He's been here
for a while," the guard said. The guard told Levine the boy was locked up for his own protection. The boy said the older boys were sodomizing him with a broom
handle. "Why is his head shaved?" Levine asked. "The boy has been pulling his hair out," the guard said.
Source: http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/marianna/ Ben Montgomery, Waveney Anne Moore
The suit made a number of allegations, the most serious concerning isolation cells where boys were held for three weeks, sometimes longer. They were hogtied —
forced to lie on their stomachs with their wrists and ankles shackled together behind their backs.
Gregory Coler, Health and Rehabilitative Services Secretary A lawsuit was in the courts through three governors. On the eve of the 1987 trial, the state
settled, agreeing to sharply reduce the population at Dozier and another juvenile institution. "These reforms launch Florida into a new and progressive era in the way
we treat young offenders,'' Gregory Coler said at the time.
Roy Manella an official of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, said at a Tallahassee news conference that "the Marianna institution was one of
the worst examples in the nation of a boys' reform school."
Sheila Wexler, Dr. Wexler's daughter says she occasionally treated boys who had cuts or welts on their behind. "But if they needed a stitch, it would only be a few."
Jan. 5, 1915: Jackson County grand jury stated: "We find that the employees were men who were not settled in life, who have had no experience in raising boys
of their own or anybody else's and who know nothing about the science of bringing up children in the way they should go. We find that the young men having direct
supervision of the boys were immoral and not proper persons to lead wayward boys toward reformation."
A superintendent, Roy McKay, offered a sworn statement: “Although I never witnessed or participated in the strappings that were used as a form of punishment in
the 1960s and 1970s at Dozier, I did witness the aftermath of this form of discipline. On many occasions, a child would come to my class and would be unable to sit
down after being beaten with a leather strap in the woodshed we called 'the White House.’
Lenox Williams, a former superintendent, was deposed in a court case: “Did the beatings ever get out of hand?” the attorney asked. He answered: “At times it
did, yes.” In an interview by Ben Montgomery, Tampa Bay Times, Williams stated: He may have been aware of the beatings before he was appointed to
superintendent in 1966. He paused over his grits, "I think there were some who might have enjoyed it on our staff. "They might have enjoyed the over-beating."
Source: http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/marianna/ Ben Montgomery, Waveney Anne Moore
David R. Walters, former Superintendent stated: "I wrote Senator Dodd and stated “Corporal Punishment was employed before, during, and after the time I was
superintendent. I tried to halt the practice, but found, “with an untrained and poorly paid staff, with some one hundred-eighty employees for eight hundred
youngsters, it was impossible.”
"I told Senator Dodd I tried to wipe out the practice of beating inmates, not because I was soft on them, but because my first hand experience has show inmates
“serves no purpose other than to instill hatred, cunning and a desire for revenge against society in most youngsters.” ‘Even a ban on beating inmates would not
automatically improve Florida’s reformatories. “Humiliation and abasement of individuals will continue because of the very structure of the local and state systems.”
Source: Read archive newspaper clips here
Robert M. Peterson, employee of the Florida Department of Youth Services, recalls walking a young child back from a flogging. The boy, he said, was bleeding
profusely. Source: Children In Trouble: A National Scandal By Howard James Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Howard James, Christian Science Monitor Reporter
Another critic of the Florida system, Christian Science Monitor reporter Howard James, told the subcommittee earlier this year Marianna inmates are often beaten
black and blue, sometimes until they bleed with a weighted leather paddle. James told the subcommittee: "the major problem is the type of people attracted to jobs
there: "sadists, homosexuals, dull workers who can't find work anywhere else and those who care deeply about children" And James told the Dodd committee, "most"
fall into the third category. Read the newspaper clipping here
Marianna Resident Calvin Creamer
In the town of Marianna, conversations about the school are difficult. Calvin Creamer, 62, knew the school cobbler who made boots with markings in the heels so they
could track the boys down if they ran away – and the leather straps for the floggings. "They were mean people to start with," he said of the men who dispensed the
discipline. "Back then, it was torture for those boys. And the police didn't care either. They would strip them down and strap them to 50-gallon drums bear naked, and
then they'd beat them." Source: David Usborne Reporter US Editor of The Independent SUNDAY 03 MARCH 2013 http://tinyurl.com/q32una2
BOYS SUBJECTED TO HUMAN MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION IN THE FLORIDA/DOZIER SCHOOL FOR BOYS BY DOCTOR SOUZA
By Reporters: Erick Kopp, Joy Reese Shaw, Addie Summers CLICK THIS LINK
End historical witnesses, except, of course, the 400+ victims who are still waiting for justice. How many witnesses do you
need to see the truth?
For picture of the whip and paddle used by the institution go to this link.
Note: All sources for the above may be found in: R.Straley's Site: http://thewhitehouseboysonline.com/MARIANNA-COVERUP-RWS.html
also at: http://thewhitehouseboysonline.com/WITNESS-TO-ABUSE-FSB.html
and: http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/marianna/ Ben Montgomery, Waveney Anne Moore
A NOTATION ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
At the time that these beatings occurred Florida law banned corporal punishment for adults. It allowed children to be whipped, strapped, and
paddled. These paddling were to be a applied as if by a loving parent, according to Juvenile Judge W.R. Culbreath, as reported in the Miami News,
1958. In the Children's Bureau of the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare's book, "Guides and Goals," It states: Corporal punishment
should not be tolerated in any way.
To see a list of whipped boys, ages and amount of lashings click this link