After Armenian constituents raised concerns over the lack of in-depth information provided to students about the Armenian Genocide, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and seven of his Congressional colleagues sent letters Wednesday to history textbook publishers in California, urging them to include additional details about the tragedy in forthcoming textbook editions.
“It’s a really necessary part of any student’s education to understand what people are capable of and under what circumstances it takes place, and how it can be avoided in the future,” Schiff said in a phone interview.
Letters were sent to major textbook publishers, such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson, said Emilie Simons, a spokeswoman for Schiff.
Glendale Councilman Vrej Agajanian said Schiff’s letter and the other letters will hopefully lead to the expansion of information about the genocide, which can be essential for a student’s education. He also referred to a quote by Irish philosopher Edmund Burke: “For evil to flourish, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.”
“The world has a short memory and, if every kid learns about this, they can be a solider to stop future genocides,” said Agajanian, who is a political talk show host for “ABCTVLIVE with Vrej Agajanian,” which airs on the Armenian American Broadcasting Corp.
In 2016, Glendale Unified’s history and literature teachers underwent additional training with genocide experts to better instruct students about the Ottoman Turks’ massacre of 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915.
Also, in 2016, Glendale Unified officials unanimously approved recognizing Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day on April 24, giving students and faculty that day off.
In 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1915, which required the Armenian Genocide be included in high school curricula.