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Former Dozier Wards Call On Florida To Destroy White House Building On Grounds

Sascha Cordner

Some former wards of the now closed Dozier School for Boys say they want the White House building on the grounds destroyed. That’s the building where they say a lot of abuse occurred.

Jerry Cooper is the President of the so-called White House Boys. The organization has helped to shine a light on the troubled past of the Dozier School and has been very supportive of efforts to find the remains of boys believed to be on the Panhandle property. Cooper says his group hasn’t asked the state for much, but has put in a request to the Florida Department of State to make sure the White House in Marianna is demolished.

“We now know that a lot of the sexual abuse that occurred was actually inside that White House, and it doesn’t deserve to stand one more day as far as we’re concerned,” said Cooper, who made the request about two weeks ago. “And, I know that I would find a lot of peace along with the rest of the men.”

It’s been widely known that a lot of alleged physical abuse occurred in the White House, but Cooper says he was surprised to hear about the occurrence of widespread sexual abuse—citing a recent state probe.

Cooper is also on the Dozier Task Force, charged with creating a memorial for remains uncovered a few years ago, but have not yet been DNA matched.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.