The two Ivy League universities at the center of a billowing storm over the use in anthropology teaching of the bones of an African American child killed by Philadelphia police in 1985 have apologized for the “serious error”, promising to return the human remains to relatives who never consented to the practice.
The pelvis and femur bones of an unidentified Black girl thought to be in her teens were revealed last week to have been used as props in an online anthropology course staged by Princeton and given by a professor from the University of Pennsylvania. Neither institution had requested or received consent from the family of the child, yet held on to the bones for research and teaching for 36 years.
Now both universities have issued apologies, announced investigations by outside lawyers, and pledged to do better in future in their interactions with African American communities.
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