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Dozier apology gets Senate backing

Entrance to former Dozier School for Boys
Entrance to former Dozier School for Boys (News Service of Florida photo by Tom Urban)

The Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday approved a resolution that would apologize for the mistreatment of juveniles at the now-closed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

The measure (SR 1440), sponsored by Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, calls the abuse of the boys held at Dozier and a related facility at Okeechobee "cruel, unjust and a violation of human decency."

The House has already unanimously passed a similar resolution (HR 1335) apologizing for the mistreatment.

Both resolutions noted more than 500 former students of the Dozier and Okeechobee reform schools have testified about physical, mental and sexual abuse by staff members from the 1940s through the 1960s.

Dozier was closed in 2011.