Story at a glance:
- The remains of one or two children are being used to teach college students.
- The bones are being used without the consent of the surviving family members.
- Move is a political Black liberation group that focuses on environmental justice.
Black children who were killed in a 1985 bombing by the Philadelphia police are having their bones used in an online forensic anthropology course in Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.
After 36 years, the remains of one or two of the children killed in the aerial bombing, casualties of an assault on the Move organization in May 1985, will be taught under an online study platform, Coursera, called Real Bones: Adventures in Forensic Anthropology, The Guardian reported.
The Ivy League institutions have reportedly had the burnt bones for years and have used them without the permission of the surviving families, reports The Guardian.
Janet Monge, an adjunct professor in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and the instructor of the online course, describes the bones — a femur and pelvis — as “juicy, by which I mean you can tell they are the bones of a recently deceased individual."
"If you smell it, it doesn't actually smell bad – it smells kind of greasy, like an older-style grease."
The bones have not been identified because of the decomposed condition of their remains. However, they likely belong to a 14-year-old girl and/or a 12-year-old girl who died in the bombing, reports The Guardian.
In the bombing, out of the 11 people who were killed, five were children ages 7 to 14.
It was only until last year that the city of Philadelphia apologized for the Move bombing.
Move, which is still around, is a militant Black separatist group that advocates for environmental laws and natural living.
Monge and both universities could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. The University of Pennsylvania told The Guardian the bones had been returned to Princeton, but a Princeton spokesperson told the paper, “We can confirm that no remains of the victims of the Move bombing are being housed at Princeton University.”
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