PASADENA, CA – The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) unanimously adopted a resolution regarding the Armenian Genocide at their board meeting on April 27, 2010. Specifically, the measure reaffirms the PUSD’s commitment to working with community groups, non-profit organizations and school personnel to ensure that the Armenian Genocide studies remain an important part of High School social studies curriculum in the City of Pasadena. The PUSD meeting was attended by representatives of the Pasadena ANC and the Pasadena Armenian Youth Federation “Nigol Touman” chapter.
“We appreciate the Pasadena Unified School District’s action to speak truth to power against the state sponsored campaign of genocide denial being advanced by the Republic of Turkey,” remarked Pasadena ANC Executive Director Ishkhan Boghossian. “Pasadena is a city where human rights are respected and celebrated and the resolution adopted today is further proof of this,” added Boghossian.
PUSD Chief Academic Officer Alice Petrossian was introduced by PUSD officials to discuss the resolution. Petrossian, a prominent member of the Armenian American community, was understandably emotional when discussing the experience of her family during the genocide. She was followed by Suzanne Berberian, who serves as the community liaison specialist for the district and has deep roots with Pasadena’s large Armenian American community. Berberian was followed by remarks from Pasadena ANC Chairman Raffi Hamparian.
Community activist and a product of the local public school system, Maral Tashjian Nazarian, praised the PUSD for adopting the resolution. Maral, whose children also attend Pasadena public schools, explained that she was grateful to the PUSD for being part of the broad movement to confront the Turkish Government’s campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide
An outstanding feature of the resolution adopted by the PUSD is that it seeks feedback from teachers as to their efforts to integrate the Armenian Genocide and other genocides into the district’s 2011-2012 history curriculum. A number of years ago, the PUSD, in partnership with the Pasadena ANC, sponsored a training program for High School social studies teachers on the Armenian Genocide.
The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.
#1: Pasadena Armenian-American Community Activists attending the Pasadena Unified School Board Meeting.
#2: Maral Tashjian Nazarian, Pasadena Community activist addressing the PUSD Board of Education about the importance of teaching the Armenian Genocide.