Dozier Memorial Bill Goes To Gov. Scott

May 19, 2017

A bill authorizing the creation of memorials for the victims of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys was sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.

The monuments would be placed at the Capitol complex in Tallahassee and in Jackson County, the site of the now-closed reform school where hundreds of boys said that they were physically and sexually abused.

The House and Senate passed the legislation (HB 7115) and a formal apology for the Dozier abuses. The bill authorizes the reburial of victims of a 1914 dormitory fire in the Boot Hill cemetery at the former school. It also directs the reburial in Leon County of unclaimed bodies, which were discovered as part of an extensive forensic investigation at the site led by University of South Florida researchers.

The legislation also authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to explore the 1,400-acre Dozier site for additional unmarked graves. The bill provides $1.2 million for monument and reburial costs. The governor has until June 2 to act on the measure.