GLENDALE—The Glendale Unified Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution, Standing in Solidarity with the People of Artsakh and Condemning Azerbaijan’s Genocidal Campaign, at its meeting Tuesday night. On September 19, Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked, large-scale, and genocidal military attack on the people of Artsakh following a months-long blockade. Reports indicate that Azerbaijan used deadly force, including heavy shelling of residential areas, which has resulted in significant destruction and the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including children.
“Our district remains committed to providing an inclusive place where every child, employee, and family member is seen and valued. By adopting this resolution, our Board of Education is affirming the experiences that so many in our community are going through and providing resources to support them,” said Board President Jennifer Freemon. “We want our students, employees, and families to know that we see them, stand side-by-side in partnership with them, and continue to do everything we can to affect change.”
“As an Armenian-American who is a descendant of genocide survivors, it has been a traumatizing and difficult time as so many Armenians in Artsakh suffer from the nearly ten-month blockade and the most recent direct violence by Azerbaijan, which is ethnic cleansing and genocidal. The hope for this resolution is that it first communicates that we are in solidarity with our community and that it sets actionable steps of how we can best support our students, families, and employees,” said Board Vice President Shant Sahakian.
The GUSD Board resolution directs the superintendent and district staff to implement the following immediate actions:
- Call on the White House, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Congressional representatives to condemn Azerbaijan’s genocidal campaign on the people of Artsakh, cease military aid to Azerbaijan, implement sanctions to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its human rights violations, and implement urgent measures to protect and provide aid to the people of Artsakh.
- Ensure that students, families, and employees can readily access and are aware of available counseling and mental health services and resources.
- Develop educational lesson plans, presentations, and professional development opportunities to educate the GUSD community about this crisis.
- Support awareness campaigns, humanitarian aid drives, and other response efforts organized by the school community.
- Collaborate with state, county, and local government agencies in response efforts, including the City of Glendale, whose Sister Cities include Artsakh’s City of Martuni.
The GUSD Student Wellness Services, Teaching and Learning, and Equity, Access, and Family Engagement departments have collaborated to prepare educational resources for educators to foster conversations in their classrooms and provide students, employees, and families with support and space for reflection and dialogue to address the emotional turmoil caused by the crisis in Artsakh and Armenia. Employee community circles will be held on October 3, along with two parent webinars focused on processing trauma on October 5 and 9.