About the Florida School for Boys

In the late 1950s The Florida School for Boys opened its doors in Okeechobee.

It was the second campus of a state-run school that started out as the Florida State Reform School, in 1900 in Marianna, a small town in the panhandle.

The school housed orphans and troubled children, and had a reputation for the cruel treatment of its students, or wards.

Over the years numerous allegations of neglect, abuse, torture and murder were brought forward by former wards. In 2008 then-Gov. Crist ordered a state investigation into the allegations.

Following the investigation the state declined to file charges against former employees. The state closed the school in 2011.

In 2014, after months of searching with ground penetrating radar, researchers uncovered the remains of more than 50 bodies on the Marianna campus.

Several former students believe that bodies were buried at the Okeechobee campus too.

The Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office will begin searching for these graves using cadaver dogs on April 14.