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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:58 PM
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Florida men seek probe of 32 unmarked graves at boys school
Florida men seek probe of unmarked graves at boys school
By Mary Ellen Klas | Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE -- Convinced the 32 unmarked graves at the Florida School for Boys in Marianna are the bodies of boys abused and killed decades ago there, four former residents of the school are demanding the governor and state and federal attorneys investigate.

The four men, all of whom suffered from brutal beatings while students at the Marianna-based school for delinquent boys in the late 1950s, sent letters to Gov. Charlie Crist, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney general alleging that the boys were victims of state-sponsored hate crimes and murder.

Their goal, they said, is for ''every last child, Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American who disappeared from the Florida School for Boys accounted for and, whatever relatives he may have, be given peace at last,'' said Michael O'McCarthy, 66, who resided at the school in 1958-59.

The men learned of the graves six weeks ago when the Department of Juvenile Justice invited five of the men back to the school to dedicate a plaque outside the white cinder-block building where they were beaten, known as the White House, and to close it down forever.

The graves were on what officials used to call ''the colored side'' of the school and the men now believe they remain unmarked ''to hide the nature of those children's deaths,'' O'McCarthy said.

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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:00 PM
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1. Dude, never ever live in the south
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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:09 PM
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4. Tell me about it
It is always in FLORIDA.
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PM Martin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:13 PM
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5. Or Manitoba, or Alberta, or Saskatchewan, or the Northwest Territories.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:02 PM
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2. WTF?
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:04 PM
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3. How awful. I hope they find what they need. n/t
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:15 PM
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6. Weren't Religious folk usually in charge of these type of Boys schools back in the day?
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:18 PM
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7. Sadly, this is not an isolated story
On the campus of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas there are over 100 graves of Indian children (the youngest was 6 months old and a relative of mine) who died while "attending" Haskell while under the care of the United States government. This was back in the day when the motto was to "kill the Indian but save the man".

The following is but one account of what happened at Haskell. It is from a Sierra Club website. The Sierra Club was one of the supporters we had in stopping a trafficway that would destroy some pristine wetlands south of the Haskell campus. Wetlands that according to a document we got from the BIA that confirmed that an estimated 1500 Indian children were buried there. They were buried in the wetlands because the government was embarrassed at the number of children who died under their care or children who were buried by other members of their tribe so that they would not be buried as Christians.

fwiw, the fight to stop the wetlands from being destroyed continues today. I started helping to combat it back in 1986.

The Merriam Report

Haskell was both the biggest and the most notorious of the federal governments off reservation boarding schools. The famous Merriam Report, concluded in 1926, but published only after much foot-dragging and watering down two years later, was especially critical of Haskell for its neglect and abuse of Indian children. Malnourished ten year olds were required to work half days in laundries, kitchens and dairy operations that used antiquated condemned equipment. Losing an arm was not uncommon. Earlier reports chastised school officials for the many student deaths. Indians understood that the farm operation in the wetland was modeled on prison farms of the time. Free labor, essentially penal slave labor of their children, was used to grow food for the school, ostensibly to make the institution self sufficient while teaching the kids useful stills. This obscene rationalization would have been bad enough, but it didnt begin to reflect the true nature of these crimes. Despite a large dairy operation, government investigators found milk was sold locally while the children at Haskell often went without. Diet was as bad as many penal institutions of that notorious era. Ironically, in the early days Haskell students were even referred to officially as inmates. Escapes, the run-away problem, was epidemic. In some years several missing children per month was the norm. Some died of exposure while hiding in the wetlands or drowned attempting to cross the Wakarusa. Boys and girls were known to have hanged themselves, usually well away from the dorms, as the last resort to end the terror and shame of sexual abuse. Many were buried in secret locations by friends who did not want the authorities to place them in the Christian cemetery in the shadow of the dorms. Some said the authorities looked the other way because that official burial ground was already embarrassingly full. Better to report these children as runaways than take responsibility for still more deaths. Those who claim today that there are no Indian graves in the wetland know nothing of these sad realities, and less than nothing about the various traditional native burial practices.

Within less than a decade after the great 1926 gathering and the completion of the Merriam Report, both the academic programs and the farm project would be openly declared failures. In the 1930s BIA officials, under John Colliers new administration, gave up on the Haskell farm. BIA efforts to drain all the Indian out of Haskell students did not end, but that focus of Indian education was substantially curtailed. Agricultural equipment was moved to Chilocco Indian Boarding School in Oklahoma.
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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:21 PM
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8. Read the whole article
The eyewitnesses say that kids were killed by being ordered into a tumbling dryer. The rest were told never to tell or be taken to the White House and beaten, if not seen again.

The people who did this were monsters. To bad they will never be punished.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:51 PM
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9. Yikes! There's always something coming out about Florida, isn't there?
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