Pasadena School Board Recommits Itself to Armenian Genocide Education

Published : Friday, April 6, 2018 | 9:32 PM

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The Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education unanimously voted to pass a resolution ensuring the Armenian Genocide is taught to its faculty, student body, and the community.

April will also now be known as “Pasadena Unified School District’s Month of Commemoration for the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.”

The important March 29 resolution also recommits board members involvement with teachers in discussions about ways to educate about genocide and also the most effective ways of communicating societial themes that run through the continuum of genocides of modern history.

The resolution was jointly introduced by Armenian Student Club Chairs Aram Chalikyan of Marshall Fundamental School, and Hamlet Nortikyan of Pasadena High school.

Alison Ghafari, a representative of the Armenian Council of America, commended PUSD for recognizing the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and recommitting to teaching the history to its faculty and student body.

“The one topic that I do not recall covering in depth was the Armenian Genocide in my Honors World History class,” Ghafari said. “In a chapter of my textbook, the Armenian Genocide was vaguely summarized into one, small paragraph. My teacher at the time was also vague on the subject and showed us a short video clip of an Armenian grandma weeping and giving her testimony on the event and what she had to endure. The video could have resonated with the students within the class, but it did not. There was no discussion after that, no information further given to educate the students. No one understood its importance….I believe that it is important to learn and discuss what has happened in our history to prevent it from repeating itself. Failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide has led to many other ethnic cleansings. That is why it is important to educate our youth on the Armenian Genocide and any other crime against humanity that our education system has forgotten.”

The Armenian Council of America promotes the civic and civil rights interests of the Armenian American community. It hopes to achieve these goals through education, community organization, leadership development, and coalition-building with diverse communities.

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