One Story

Our One Story selection, “For Their Own Good: The Lost Bones,” chronicles a six-year in-depth reporting project that uncovered the long history of abuse at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. Tampa Bay Times reporters Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore worked with photographer Edmund Fountain to review thousands of documents and compile interviews with more than 100 people, including a forensic anthropologist, employees and survivors of the boys home and their family members. For student journalists, this story offers insight into the importance of working with many facets of a community to uncover a story. For example, the University of South Florida allowed reporters to observe the excavation of the cemetery in Marianna, the excavation of Thomas Curry’s grave in Philadelphia and the analysis of the remains in the laboratory in Tampa. In addition, the Times website that covers the two-part story demonstrates incredible richness in modes of alternative storytelling. Our One Story validates both long-form journalism and encourages historical research to uncover fresh angles on previously established narratives. Finally, the story, while it draws attention to past injustices, also honors the difficult process of recovery from trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

This story reports on violence and sexual abuse. While justice and dignity, as much as they can be under the circumstances, are restored to the dead, students may need to be prepared for the material. The lesson plans included in the One Story module offer suggestions for preparing students to discuss sensitive issues and provides research options for providing context about child abuse and institutionalized racism.

One Story Lesson Plan — Analysis of enterprise reporting

One Story Lesson Plan — The power of portrait

One Story Lesson Plan — Backtracking an open records request