Dozier School: Marianna's History

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Updated: 1/31/2014 10:46 pm
In our second story about the Dozier school for Boys in Marianna, Florida, we spoke with a familiar face who gave us an inside perspective on the excavation efforts.

Currently,The University of South Florida is trying to find out just how many unmarked graves may be on the Dozier school property.

Erin Kimmerle, Associate Professor at USF spoke on behalf of the excavation effort. She said, referring to the need to excavate that,” This is precisely why the excavation was necessary. The only way to clearly establish the facts about the deaths and burials at the school is to follow a scientific process, which we have been using.”

Former KPVI reporter matt horn is a journalist in Florida and has been to Marianna to see the Florida Industrial School for boys. He described the so-called white house, a building known by a former student as the place where violent discipline occurred.

Horn explained the layout and appearance of the building. He said that, “The white house itself was on the backside of campus and the building is, it’s a small building and you walk in and it’s maybe twelve feet by six feet or something like that when you first walk in, it’s a smaller room and then you have a hallway and there are a couple of rooms on each side. It’s small; there are a lot of carvings on the walls with people’s names and dates.”

Horn also noted that the entire excavation operation by USF was not wanted by many in Marianna.

“In the city of Marianna, there were a lot of people there who they didn’t want the state to exhume the graves they didn’t want people out there because they said why dig up the past on some of that stuff that happened. They didn’t want to dig it up because they were afraid that it was going to be another black eye for the community,” Horn said.

Horn noted that former students that he spoke to often wanted the story of Marianna told. Such was the case with the former Dozier student in East Idaho.

The former Dozier student living in East Idaho said, “We’re talking a lot of boys, killed, disappeared, and never came home. Bring this story out. Tell the world."

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