November 22

Guinea Pig Kids Stir Furor: NYC Allows Racial Studies in Schools_NYPost

The Post reports that City education officials “last year quietly approved
more than 50 research projects related to health, psychology, race,
ethnicity, gender and religion – mostly on kids in the poorest
neighborhoods, a Post investigation has found.”

In all, the Post discovered that nearly 200 dubious racially charged,
“research projects” are being conducted on NYC public school children. Some
of these studies are financed by multimillion-dollar government grants.
None of the studies have any component to help children improve their

New York University and Columbia University are vying for psychological /
sociological research grants fixated on prying children’s privacy and
innocence.  Inasmuch as “prejudice” is being considered as a “mental
disorder”–it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is heading
toward expanding  “mental health” services.

Equally important: If we do not permit religious intrusion into our publicly
financed schools– why is the Board of Education allowing
academically-trained snoopers –with their own set of prejudices and
preconceived religious and ethnic bias gain access to school children?

Not everything that packages itself as “research” deserves to be funded by

The Post reports that parents, children and teachers*** are being paid cash
incentives–surely the public can see through this for what it is–pork!

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav


SAYING NO: Granville Leo Stevens refused to let his daughter, Savanna, be part of a New York University study at MS 104 in Manhattan.
November 13, 2006 — The city’s Department of Education has turned thousands
of public-school students into “guinea pigs” – allowing researchers to use
kids in lucrative and racially explosive studies, critics charge.

City education officials last year quietly approved more than 50 research
projects related to health, psychology, race, ethnicity, gender and religion
– mostly on kids in the poorest neighborhoods, a Post investigation has found.

Nearly 200 studies – some of them financed by multimillion-dollar grants -were OK’d.

All of the studies were conducted with parental consent. But as an
incentive, parents and kids often were compensated. The city allows “modest
cash payments” to parents and teachers and gift certificates for kids,
education officials said.

“We have a laboratory of guinea pigs,” said Granville Leo Stevens, a parent
activist who refused to allow his daughter, Savanna, to participate in an
NYU study at MS 104 in Manhattan last year.

“The Department of Education markets our kids like they’re a piece of meat,” said Stevens.

Some of the studies target students by race and ethnicity.

Maria Kromidas of Columbia Teachers College is doing a project about
“Children and Race in New York City” by observing kids in a Queens
elementary school with a largely immigrant student base. She wants to find
out how children of different races get along.

A previous study Kromidas conducted with fourth-graders at PS 214 in
Brooklyn following 9/11 found South Asian immigrants were subjected to
vicious racism by Latino and black classmates.

Kromidas, a former teacher at the school, found that kids linked people from Bangladesh with terror.

“The bulk of the responses from the non-Muslim students were frightening to
me,” Kromidas wrote in the study.

She questions students during “everyday activities” and lets them “take the
conversation wherever they wish to go.”

Critics say racially targeted behavioral studies of kids as young as age 9 are intrusive.

“Schools are not laboratories to use children as free experimental
subjects,” said Vera Sharav, of the Alliance for Human Research Protection.

Another explosive Columbia Teachers College study specifically examines
whether Muslim students’ religion helps or hurts them in school.

A Columbia University study – funded by a $2.5 million federal grant –
provides group psychotherapy and analyses its effectiveness in schools in
poor, minority neighborhoods.

Sharav charges that mental-health trials are “junk” science and often
wrongly diagnose teens and inflict psychological harm.

They’re also an invitation for kids to be referred to private clinics to
receive “psychotropic” drugs, she said. No drugs are dispensed by
researchers in the schools.

Meanwhile, five years after 9/11, numerous researchers are still looking
into the effect of the attacks on city students.

Columbia gives parents involved in 9/11 mental-health counseling sessions at
schools $20 to $25 per session, and students are given $10 gift certificates.

And the NYU Child Study Center is studying the effectiveness of
“classroom-based psycho- educational workshops” in reducing anxiety and
anger in teens after 9/11. Schools covered include Murry Bergtraum HS.

City education officials and researchers defend the studies as advancing
students’ academic interests and health.

“Our children are not guinea pigs. The research is carefully vetted,” said
Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, the DOE’s director of assessment and accountability. <>

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