The White House Boys-An American Tragedy
The term “The White House Boys” was coined in 1997 by Roger Dean Kiser on a former Geocities web site (BHI) Beverly Hills Internet. The term originated from a small white building where boys were beaten at the former Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna, Florida. The terms "The American Orphan" and "The Sad Orphan" were also coined at the same time. These terms were registered by HCI Incorporated (13:978-0-7573-1321-6 and 10:0-7573-1421X)
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr. Founder of The White House Boys
303 Juliette Circle
Brunswick, Georgia 31525
E-Mail: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
WHO IS GUILTY AND WHO WAS ACTUALLY INNOCENT?
When I wrote the book “The White House Boys-An American Tragedy” it was to tell my story. It was also to somewhat tell the stories of just a few other boys who were also sent to the Florida School for Boys at Marianna. Those other boys were from the Children’s Home Society orphanage located in Jacksonville, Florida where I lived most of my childhood. The orphanage rules were very strict and harsh. You ate, went to school, you worked every day after school as well as on Saturday and Sunday and at 6:00 PM you went bed. That was the daily routine from the age of four to thirteen.
There was very little time for play or any form of personal enjoyment. If one disobeyed the rules off to the reform school they went. You did not have to rob, kill, rape, steal or hurt anyone. All you had to do was not abide by their strict rules and for any violation whatsoever; off you went to the “Big jail for kids.”
So, my story was to tell the abuses that we few children suffered at the hands of the state when not having actually done anything wrong, except break the orphanage rules; rules such as climbing up in the trees and not having asked permission to get a drink of water or to go to the bathroom.
Personally, there are some of the men who came forward to tell of their stories of abuse who most likely deserved to be sent to the reform school. They were hell raisers in their communities; young boys who stole and hurt others on a daily basis. Many of them were bullies when they were juveniles delinquents on the streets of their home towns and they continued to bully their peers while incarcerated at the Marianna reform school. And from what I see today, when dealing with some of these men, most still continue on with their bully-type lifestyles even after becoming mature adults.
It is one thing to be mistreated and wronged when one has done absolutely nothing wrong (or illegal) to be mistreated or for.
Many men have come forward a few acting as if they were totally innocent of any wrong doing. It appears a few men want the public to believe they were Christian little boys standing out on the street corner handing out free Bibles when the police chased them down and sent them to this ungodly place called Marianna. It’s too bad many of the disciplinary records were missing or destroyed as they would tell the truth be known about many of the men who have come forward stating they were abused for no reason whatsoever. I am sure many of their local juvenile court records still exist and can be located when determining who was or was not truly wronged by the state of Florida.
Believe me; most of the boys sent to the Marianna school needed a severe adjustment as they were not little angles who were being taken advantage of by society.
Of course there are those who came from abusive homes who went out into the streets in order to survive and those circumstances caused them to do whatever it was which caused them to be sent to the school. Those boys are also certainly deserving of consideration.
Were the horrible beatings the boys received at the school brutal and bloody? Yes they were. If anyone beat a child in that manner today they would be imprisoned for years. However, that is the process the state felt was necessary in order to keep total control of the population. The question now is why would some boys be given ten (10) lashes, some thirty (30) lashes and others as many as one hundred (100) or more lashes? (which is excessive by any standard).
Common sense tells us these boys who received more than the normal lashes; they were inmates who would not go along with the program and committed some of the worst violations of the rules. I will repeat myself; this does not, in any manner, make the beatings that the state of Florida administered to the boys the right thing to do. It certainly was not. So we can surmise that any boy(s) who received one hundred (100) or more lashes had to be the worst of the worst. So, if we look at all the facts based on some of the stories which came to light we can surmise what the real truth most likely is.
Yes, there were many boys who did things that were not right. We have openly acknowledged and admit that we did many wrong things as young misguided boys who did not totally understand the ramifications of our misguided youth. We have never denied that fact. Crimes such as joy riding, stealing cigarettes, not going to school, running away from abusive homes and not minding the basic rules of society were just a few of the violations. Personally, I cannot recall any boy who was at the school who was there for murder, rape or any serious crime of that nature. No matter what the offence (or how serious the offence) the boys were sent there because society felt they could be rehabilitated and deserved to have a chance at having a better and a more productive life one day. However, the overbearing rules and employees of those facilities did nothing except beat the young puppies into the corner until they one day came running out and bit them for having unmercifully beaten and mistreated them.
The question then remains is whether or not the boys (now men) should be compensated for the horrible abuses they suffered at the hands of state employees while incarcerated at the former Florida Industrial Schools for Boys at Marianna (The Dozier School) as well as the Okeechobee facility.
Considering these were “Reform” schools and no beneficial reform ever came out of either facility; and considering the fact that most civil thinking individuals today can agree that such brutal punishments, though thought to be beneficial at that time, severely damaged the lives of many young boys and in many cases damaged the lives and well being of their future families. Considering that fact compensation and a public apology should be given to all the men involved and given without exception even if that individual is now deceased.
To view the White House Boys Web Site click on
"The White House Boys-An American Tragedy" book cover below.
To View the American Orphan Web Site click on
Orphan a true story book cover below.
Florida Senate Hearing on White House Boys' Issues
A REMEMBRANCE FLAG
My story and the stories of some three hundred other men, contained on this web site, will give the readers some idea of the terrible abusive and bloody horrors that were suffered by these men when they were children. Children, some as young as five or six, who ran away from physically, sexually or verbally abusive homes; yet were labeled as incorrigible children by the juvenile court system of Florida. Under court order these children were sent away too physically work on state owned farms located at The Florida School for Boys at Marianna. In addition these same children were used by the local Marianna, Jackson County community working on ranches and unloading railroad cars for as long as twelve hours a day without any pay whatsoever. That in itself was terrible but nothing compared to what was happening behind closed doors at the institution. Many boys disappeard during the night and were never heard from again. Now bodies are being discovered around the campus.
When driving onto the campus one would think it looked like a college campus. Beautiful buildings, manicured lawns, a swimming pool, a football field, hospital, dining hall and at Christmas thousands of cars visited the facility to see the hundreds of decorations and thousands upon thousands of colored lights which decorated the main drive. Yet behind all this beauty there were brutal, horrendous and merciless bloody beatings, molestations, rapes and even murders taking place in a small, thick cement walled building know as The White House. There were many nights when young boys were taken from their cottages screaming and crying and were raped by the staff. Many of these boys never returned to their cottages and were never heard from again. Our investigation has never found any records (Social Security-Crinimal-Employment-Tax or Property ownership or other information) regarding any of these boys in later years. They just simply disappeared, some were as young as five.
I arrive at the school on June 3, 1959 at the age of twelve (12). I am not sure exactly what age I was as the orphanage never had a birthday party for any of the children and most of we kids never knew what our exact ages were until we grew up and managed to secure a birth certificate. In my case it was when I turned 27 years old.
Upon entering the school I was rather taken by all the beauty and the neatness of the campus. Though somewhat scared; I was not as scared as most kids sent to the school because I was already institutionalized and use to such environments. But I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the large swimming pool, football field and the gymnasium. This had to be much better than the orphanage and "look at all this here stuff," I remember saying to myself. This had to be much better than only having one broken swing to swing on and a roller skate that only had three wheels. But, little did I know, as a great big smile crossed my lips, that a devil was hiding behind every tree, every building and even behind every blade of manicured grass. And little did I know that America had its own concentration camp for little boys right here in the good ole U.S. of A. It is a bloody, horrible and never ending nightmare that many of us still suffer even to this very day, some fifty years later.
After a vicious and brutal bloody beating at the White House; I swore that I would one day expose what was happening at the facility. And that I did. Some fifty years later I wrote the book The White House Boys-An American Tragedy which, with the help of other men who were abused at the school, closed down the campus for good. The University of South Florida is now on the grounds hunting for the bodies of boys who were killed, buried or simply dumped in the North Florida swamps. At present 96 bodies have been located. If the USF investigation is allowed to continue; many additional bodies will be found on both the North and South sides of the campus as well as in the garbage dump. This will not include the many bodies that were taken into the swampland areas and dumped and possibly eaten by alligators. There were stories of boys being beaten to death at the White House Torture Chamber then their bodies taken to the incinerator and burned with the daily trash. The ashes were then cleaned out and taken “to the peanut field and used as fertilizer.”
The few employees who did have the guts and fortitude to come forward (after all these years) called the beatings cruel, brutal, totally inhumane and criminal in nature. I guess one had to actually be there to see the boy’s Levis split at the seams after 20 or thirty swats with the heavy weighted leather and metal strap. I guess you had to be there at the hospital to see the boys’ underwear which had been beaten into their skin and then surgically removed by the school’s nurse and the aging physician. Yes, one would have to have been there to really understand the horror, the cruelty and the brutality of it all.
THE BOOKS and STORIES of
ROGER DEAN KISER, SR,
To a child who has nothing,
a little bit means everything.
To a child who has everything,
a little bit means nothing.
Roger Dean Kiser. Author
Being on total disability; It is only through the sale of my books that allow me
to continue my work as a child advocate, helping abused children and American orphans.
CLICK BOOK COVERS TO READ A STORY OR PURCHASE A BOOK
"My friend, Roger Dean Kiser has to be one of the best unknown
short story writers in America. I am honored to have his
autographged work in my personal library."
Wendy's International, Inc.
Considering I only had a sixth grade education; I am honored that many of my stories have been used for educational purposes. Over the years I have given much of my work away for free, mainly to organizations and schools (for testing) that use those stories, books, CDs and materials for the benefit of educating children and helping abused kids. I have never forgotten being mentally and verbally abused by my teachers while attending Spring Park Elementary School and while living at The Children's Home Society in Jacksonville, Florida and The Florida School for Boys at Marianna.
ROGER KISER'S BIO
Published author Roger Dean Kiser's stories take you into the heart of a child abandoned by his family and abused by the system responsible for his care. Through his stories, he relives the sadness and cruelty of growing up an orphan in the early 1950s.
Today, Kiser lives in Brunswick, Georgia with his wife Judy where he continues to write and publishing his heartfelt short storis. Unknowingly at first and by the power of the Internet, Kiser's short stories have touched millions.
In the vein of Mark Twain, Roger Dean Kiser's collection of almost 1,000 stories has captured the drama and emotion of not only his childhood, but also his current day tales. Kiser's short stories carry with them strong images and feelings that search out and find that common thread which connects each of us to our own emotions.
Roger Dean Kiser is the author of the books "Orphan, A True Story of Abandonment, Abuse and Redemption," "American Orphan" and "RUNAWAY, Life on the streets-The Lessons Learned" and "The White House Boys-An American Tragedy." Many of Roger's stories have appeared in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and have been enjoyed by thousands.
Roger will never forget how he and about 300 other children were treated as though they were less than human while living at the Children's Home Society Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida. How he and hundreds of other boys were brutally beaten, abused and some raped at the hands of officials employed at the Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna in the 1950s and 1960s.
Roger's short stories have also been published in books such as: Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Friend's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories to Soothe the Spirit, Heartwarmers, Heartwarmers of Love, A Cool Collection I and A Cool Collection II (Israel), Connections-Textbook and CD Rom (Israel), Faith & True Stories of Friendship, Teen Miracles, Man's Best Friend (Australia), The Next Voice You Hear, Soul Disclosures, Dog Buddies (Australia), Skyline Magazine IV, Venice, Gulf Coast Living, Petwarmers CD Collection, Kiwanis Magazine, as well as his own CD titled "The Life and Times of Roger Dean Kiser."
Roger's short story "The Bully" was made into a short film by Executive Producer Edward Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show), and has been entered into several major film festivals in the United States.
Between Edward Asner's bustling, award winning career and a busy political agenda, the actor has still made himself available to lend his support and voice to Roger Dean Kiser.
CONTACT: e-mail: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
Child Advocate Office
303 Juliette Circle
Brunswick, Georgia 31525
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