On April 18, 2017 the LAUSD Board passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide (see below).
LAUSD Board Member Monica Ratliff with members of the ANCA-WR Education Committee and Grant HS students. (photo credit: Sean Abajian)
Recognition of April as Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915
(Res 073-16/17) Ms. Ratliff, Mr. Schmerelson, Dr. Vladovic, Mr. Zimmer, Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. McKenna, Ms. García
Noticed March 14, 2017 - ADOPTED
Whereas, April 24, 2017, marks the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide;
Whereas, The Armenian people were subjects of a systematic and premeditated genocidal campaign, which began at the hands of the Ottoman government, through 1919 and continued under the Kemalist government of the Republic of Turkey from 1920 through 1923, whereby 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were slaughtered or marched to their deaths in an effort to annihilate the Armenian Nation in the first modern genocide, while thousands of kidnapped children and young women were forced to change their Armenian names to Turkish names and convert to Islam, and hundreds of thousands more were subjected to ethnic cleansing during the period of the modern Republic of Turkey from 1924 through 1937;
Whereas, These crimes against humanity also had the consequence of permanently removing all traces of the Armenians and other targeted people from their historic homelands, and enriching the perpetrators with the lands and other property of the victims of these crimes, including the usurpation of several thousand churches;
Whereas, In response to the Genocide, the Near East Relief organization, the first Congressionally sanctioned American philanthropic effort created exclusively to rescue the Armenian Nation and other Christian minorities, was founded and provided unprecedented relief, delivering more than $117 million of humanitarian assistance between 1915 and 1930, and saving approximately one million refugees, including 130,000 orphans of the Genocide;
Whereas, The Republic of Turkey has inexplicably and adamantly denied the occurrence of the crimes against humanity committed by the Ottoman and Young Turk rulers for many years, and continues to do so a full century since the first crimes constituting genocide occurred, despite the Turkish government’s earlier admissions and the overwhelming proof of genocidal intent; Whereas, The State of California has been at the forefront of encouraging and promoting a curriculum relating to human rights and genocide in order to empower future generations to prevent recurrence of genocide;
Whereas, The Governor of California, in accordance with Assembly Concurrent Resolution 51, proclaimed April 24 of each year as a State Day of Remembrance in recognition of the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide;
Whereas, The concern for human rights is a major element in the History-Social Science framework for California public schools, kindergarten through 12th grade;
Whereas, The District has a significant Armenian student population, many of whom have family members who experienced first-hand the horror and evil of the Armenian Genocide and the ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide;
Whereas, The District has been at the forefront of mandating that the Armenian Genocide not only be taught, but discussed and made a focal teaching point for universal religious and ethnic tolerance; and
Whereas, Every student and person, regardless of ethnicity or national origin, should be made aware of and educated about the Armenian Genocide so that it and other state-sanctioned forms of ethnic cleansing may never happen again; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District hereby designates April as the month of “Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915”, and in doing so will ensure that the Armenian Genocide is properly taught to students, staff, and the community at large; and, be it finally
Resolved, That the Los Angeles Unified School District reaffirms its commitment to working with legislators, nonprofit organizations, and school personnel to ensure that genocide studies remain an important part of the high school social studies curriculum.
Join us on February 25
click here to RSVP Sponsored by ANCA-WR Education Committee
11:00AM | Dream Palace Banquet Hall | 510 E. Broadway Blvd., Glendale, CA
"It's very important that we understand history so it doesn't repeat."
"It is very, very important to the Board of Education that we are teaching about the Armenian Genocide, and that teachers have the resources and really the background to be able to teach about the Armenian Genocide with comparable resources that are available to us to teach about the Holocaust. And I hope that we will be teaching more and more about the genocide of indigenous peoples in this country."
-- LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer
October 17, 2016
To the Honorable LAUSD Members of the Board of Education:
It has come to our attention that on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 you will be voting on whether or not to renew three of the Magnolia Charter schools which are run by the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. We have learned that Magnolia Charter Schools, despite being funded with public dollars has refused to operate with transparency and has ignored calls for release of financial documents to the Board. We also understand from the recent October 12 LA Times article that Magnolia has relied heavily on using temporary work visas to bring Turkish teachers, which L.A. Unified estimates the total cost to be about $929,000. This lack of transparency, misuse of taxpayers dollars, and importing of labor from Turkey during difficult economic times here in the US are reasons enough for voting against the renewal of the three Magnolia Schools’ charters.
However, added to all of this, is that Magnolia Charter Schools are used as places to teach intolerance against the Armenian community. As we all know Mr. Gulen certainly has his differences with the current Turkish government, however one area in which Mr. Gulen and his Magnolia Charter Schools are in agreement is with the official Turkish government’s position to deny the Armenian Genocide. And this is coming not just from the Turkish national teachers, but from their US citizen teachers as well. We saw an example of this at the LAUSD Board of Education meeting in August of 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sn1chr9zbA in which Brandon Fletcher unabashedly announced to the Board, that as a Social Studies teacher of Magnolia Science Academy #1 in Reseda, he teaches that the Armenian Genocide is a "controversial" subject and that he makes sure to provide the Ottoman’s point of view.
As you may recall in 2011, another Los Angeles area Gulen organization, the Pacifica Institute, decided to organize an Ottoman parade to march through Little Armenia, until it was stopped by outrage from the Armenian Community. You can read the LA Times coverage here: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/30/local/la-me-0930-ottoman-band-20110930
Who would refer to the Holocaust as "controversial" and insist on teaching about it from the Nazi’s perspective? This is both unconscionable and deeply offensive. To treat any other genocide in the same way is equally offensive. With all of this in mind, we respectfully request that you vote against the renewal of the Magnolia Charter Schools.
The following letter was sent to the Board of Education of the Pasadena Unified School District:
Library Receives Major Gift
Dr. Suzie Abajian was elected to the School Board of the South Pasadena Unified School District on November 3 and on December 8 she was sworn in, along with Jonathan Primuth, the other new Board member. Dr. Abajian is an education professor at Occidental College and served as a special reporter for KPFK after she visited Istanbul earlier in 2015 for the Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
In addition, Dr. Abajian is avid library supporter and on June 25, 2015 she and Dr. Kay Mouradian, the author of “My Mother’s Voice” –and another South Pasadena resident– offered their very moving presentation “ A Hopeful Moment: The Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.”
Around the time of the Author Night she noticed that quite a few high quality books on the Armenian Genocide were not in the collection of the South Pasadena Public Library so she recently purchased 18 books on the topic and donated them. They will be available to be checked out soon.
“2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide during which approximately 1.5 million people were killed under Ottoman rule in Turkey,” stated Dr. Abajian, “and in honor of my grandparents who were all survivors of the Genocide, I am donating the books.”
More about the donation:
Thank you to the United Teachers Los Angeles (2nd largest teachers union local in the United States) for passing the motion in recognition of the Armenian Genocide on the year of the 100th anniversary of the Genocide.
Below is the actual text of the motion. Here is a group shot of some supporters taken tonight right after the motion passed:
The following motion was presented to UTLA's Central Area on 8/26/15 where it passed, was next passed by the Board of Directors on 9/9/15 and tonight went before UTLA's House of Representatives where it passed, making the motion official UTLA policy:
The Los Angeles Unified School District passed the following resolution in the lead up to the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide: