White House Boys Suit is Tossed
Ben Montgomery, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Leon County judge on Tuesday dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought by men who say they were tortured in the
1950s and '60s at the state-run Florida School for Boys campuses in Marianna and Okeechobee.

The men, known as the White House Boys, claim they were beaten with a leather strap while detained at the reform
schools. The abuse was the subject of a St. Petersburg Times investigation, For Their Own Good.

Judge James O. Shelfer ruled on the legality of the case and told the court his decision had nothing to do with
whether he believed the allegations.

Lawyers for the men are deciding whether to appeal the decision or move forward with a claim bill. The claim bill has
been on hold as the men sought relief through the courts.

"We've said all along that it was an uphill battle because of the statute of limitations," said Greg Hoag, one of the
attorneys representing the men.

Hoag said his clients aren't seeking only monetary damages. "They want to see some change put into effect" at the
school in Marianna, which is still open.

Ben Montgomery can be reached at or (727) 893-8650. Read "For Their Own Good" at