first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Armenian Genocide – once observed primarily by Armenian-Americans and marked by events in parochial schools and annual protests at the Turkish Embassy – is taking on a greater role in the culture of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched a genocide curriculum that more effectively teaches students about the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 – considered the first large-scale genocide of the 20th century. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo hosted the first in a series of training workshops Monday, with more than 300 teachers reading witness testimonials and looking at survivors’ photographs in the “iWitness” exhibit on display at his office. “I run an office where every day truth is powerful. It leads us to justice, and I think the images out there speak truth and justice,” Delgadillo said. “This isn’t a huge demonstration, but, hopefully, it will inspire these kids and teachers to follow that same lead and demonstrate courage at every turn.” The Genocide Education Project developed the curriculum. It focuses on the 1915 genocide by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian citizens, but it also includes materials on other genocides of the 20th century – the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia and Darfur. California schools are required to discuss the Armenian Genocide in their 10th-grade modern world history classes. Two El Camino Real High School history teachers said “iWitness” – with its stark portraits and poignant stories of victims – brought to life for them horrors from nearly 100 years ago. “We have a world history book – and it’s an excellent one – but it only has two or three paragraphs devoted to this time,” said James DeLarme, a 10th-grade teacher. “This really opens your eyes and makes it real as to what happened. It will help when I teach students about what happened.” Teacher Devon Krodle said it was the emotion of the stories that impressed him. “When you hear these stories and see the pictures, it gives you a better sense of the reality of that period,” he said. The Turkish government blames the deaths of Armenians on civil war rather than an orchestrated massacre, and the U.S. government has not yet formally recognized the killings as a massacre. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, has been trying for years to push through a bill officially recognizing the genocide, but has met with resistance from Congress because of America’s relationship with Turkey. “I think we need to do whatever we can do to help educate the public by teaching its youngest members what genocide really means, to help them understand their own history and what’s going on elsewhere in the world like in Darfur,” Schiff said. L.A. Unified’s goal is to expose its students to facts about human rights violations in the world. In March, district teachers attended training on a new Holocaust curriculum that helps them put the topic in perspective and increases their sensitivity to the events, officials said. “As a people, if we’re not aware of how prevalent genocide has been in (the last) century, then it will keep happening,” Clay said. “The key point we want to make is that we want to impart to students the factual material and let the students make up their own minds.” The idea is to study the similarities and differences of all genocides, because no genocide can be studied in isolation, said Raffi Momjian, executive director of the Genocide Education Project. “The key is training teachers on how to address human rights topics, and our ultimate goal is to empower students to learn why and how these things happen,” said Momjian, whose nonprofit group develops instructional materials about human rights and genocide. “As they grow up and hear about these things, hopefully they become an informed and active citizenry.” Staff Writer Rick Orlov contributed to this report. [email protected] (818) 713-3722last_img

Published by admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *