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Florida Senate Approves Money To Rebury Reform School Students

Mark Schreiner/WUSF
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

 Florida would pay to rebury students whose remains were once interred on the grounds of a now shuttered reform school, under a bill passed by the Senate.

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday for the bill, a measure to help the state deal with the notorious legacy of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. The school was based in Marianna, 60 miles west of Tallahassee. It was shuttered in 2011, and some former students have accused school officials of physical and sexual abuse.

Officials investigating the allegations exhumed dozens of bodies from the campus.

The bill would provide up to $7,500 for funeral and burial expenses for each exhumed body. It also would require officials to preserve records, artifacts and remains found on the school site.

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, introduced the measure.

"This is our opportunity to say to these families, we share in your grief, and we hope that this act will bring some solace and relief to you, as we recognize the horrors of the past," Joyner said.

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