First, and most prominent in our minds at the moment, is to bring enough public attention to bear on the Florida School for Boys, now known as The Arthur G. Dozier School For Boys, so as to either shut down this 108 year old place of abuse and child cruelty or at least to be the force that will implement some changes that will make life more bearable for the children within.
The mere fact that children as young as ten were unnecessarily and brutally punished, the instrument of punishment being a leather strap fastened to a wooden handle, the same method of punishment banned for prisoners in 1922, but not for children until 1967, is beyond belief. How could the State of Florida allow this to go on for so many years? Who inspected this facility and others like it? How could they be unaware of the flogging that was going on, just not at Florida School for Boys, but at the Florida School for Boys in Okeechobee and perhaps others that we are not even aware of?
We hope to create a national outcry and outrage that will change the manner in which children are treated in the facilities. We hope to change the way people are screened that are employed in these places. Too often, men and women that wish for power and control in their life, yet do not have it, seek out employment in places they can be in control over others. Too often they turn out to be the cruel monsters that go undetected until too late. There are many good people in these institutions that do try to make a difference and would never harm a child. Unfortunately it is the few people that slip through the web of inspection that turn out to be predators.
We hope the public will hear of our web sites and others like it and turn in their stories of abuse, whether it comes form adults or their children. "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" ~ Elie Wiesel. We can not thank enough the people we have met, courageous men and women that have spent years fighting against abuse, that lent us encouragement. These people are often criticized and ridiculed, especially those that hope to abolish "spanking" in the remaining states that allow it. If you visit their sites you will see examples of these so called "spankings" that will genuinely shock your senses. Brutal physical punishment of a child only results in one thing, psychological trauma that is permanent and irreversible, and in most cases leads the subject to commit acts of violence and abuse as adults. Whatever lessons, good or bad, that we demonstrate before them, at such a young age will be carried on into their adult lives, in a permanent manner.
My child advocate office also works on issues dealing with children who are still living in American Orphanages, abused children, teen suicide and the issues of bullying at school.
In the last few years, many child advocates have hung up their hats because the general public has not supported those of us who have the time but not the funds to continue the fight to stop child absue. Even I cannot continue much longer of a few good people do not help us keep this small home office open. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CONTINUE.
Roger Dean Kiser, author/child advocate
303 Juliette Circle
Brunswick, GA 31525