Thursday, February 22, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Bringing dignity to Dozier boys' deaths

The boys that Florida took away are a step closer to coming home. On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet are expected to permit the University of South Florida to continue its effort to find and exhume bodies at the state's old reform school, the Dozier School for Boys. The state has a legal duty to account for these deaths and a moral obligation to help families recover and bury their long-lost loved ones.

USF researchers have been using ground-penetrating radar to map the school's unmarked burial grounds. While many of the graves have been lost, USF has identified nearly 50 grave shafts, 19 more than the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found. These boys died in state custody, on state land and — given the long history of beatings and other abuses at Dozier — under the most suspect circumstances. The state has a responsibility to account for who is buried there, to protect the integrity of the remains and to return them to their families.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has championed the case, served the cause of justice and the historical record by helping to craft a dignified framework for moving ahead. On Tuesday, the governor and Cabinet, sitting as the state's trustees over public land, will consider USF's request for one-year access to the site. That would give researchers the time to unearth and identify any remains and return them to their families.

The proposal would end a prolonged and unnecessary legal battle about how — or even whether — to move ahead. The agreement would ensure that professionals handled the excavations in a timely, orderly manner. The record of what happened would be both expanded and preserved. And after decades of fading hopes, the families would have the relief of having their loved ones back where they belong. The measure also would overcome Secretary of State Ken Detzner's refusal to allow USF to excavate the site, a classic display of bureaucracy run amok. The important thing now is to move ahead.

Bondi's determination and clear grasp of the legal and moral issues involved were pivotal in helping USF find an alternate route to accomplish its mission. The attorney general was right to put the weight of her office behind a soul-searching look at a shameful Florida legacy. Now it's up to the governor and Cabinet to clear the way for these boys to receive the dignity in death that eluded them in life while in the state's care. The governor and Cabinet should approve the request and let USF get back to work.

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Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.íí A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he wonít raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trumpís claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nationís 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18