Dozier School For Boys located in Marianna, Florida was the scene of horrific violence and brutality resulting in the deaths of scores of the young men that inhabited it. For years, researchers have fought with Republican politicians for the right to go and find the bodies of these boys. Rick Scott being chief amongst those who would have rather let this sleeping dog lie.
Now, the first of the 55 bodies from Dozier has been identified as George Owen Smith. At the time of his death, Smith was a 14-year-old who had been sent to Dozier for having stolen a car. The story that his family was told was that Smith had run away and was found dead under a house. He was buried in an unmarked grave.
According to the researchers, Smith was buried in a two-foot grave lying on his side covering his hands with his head. He was naked save for a shroud. The family will have the body buried by his mother and father in Central Florida.
It is unlikely that the cause of Smith’s death will ever be conclusively determined.
This is hopefully just the first of many stories to come of families finally achieving some measure of solace regarding the fate of family members lost at Dozier. Hopefully this isn’t the end of people’s awareness of the cowardice of a governor like Rick Scott.
Scott was asked repeatedly to allow researchers to investigate the reports of unmarked graves and murders at the Dozier School. He repeatedly took a stance of apathy and ignorance toward the subject. Instead, it would seem the weak-minded Scott would have rather simply let those boys pass into oblivion, after all they were certainly among the least and most defenseless in our society. Who would advocate for them or point out the Florida Governor’s spineless stance?
At one point, Senator Bill Nelson even called out Scott for his position.
“This is a good example of the ridiculous stance that the state of Florida has taken,” Mr. Nelson said, “and I believe this is under the direction of the governor.”
For more on the background of what happened at the Arthur G. Dozier school, read our earlier article.