Armenian Genocide Curriculum Bill Clears Second Hurdle in Sacramento


SACRAMENTO—Assembly member Adrin Nazarian’s Armenian Genocide education bill overcame yet another hurdle on Thursday at the State Capitol. One week earlier, the California State Assembly’s Education Committee had passed AB 659 by a unanimous vote, at which time Assembly member Katcho Achadjian lent his support by joining Nazarian as a principal co-author of the measure.

“We are very grateful for the stewardship of Assembly members Nazarian and Achadjian” said ANCA-WR Legislative Affairs Director Haig Baghdassarian. “As a result of their leadership, more and more high school students may learn about the Armenian Genocide.”

Once again, the bill advanced by a unanimous vote, 16-0, this time before the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, setting the stage for a vote by the entire body of the California State Assembly next week. If AB 659 is adopted by both chambers of legislature and signed into law by the governor, it would promote the incorporation of oral testimony and teacher training, such that the Genocide may be more comprehensively taught in California’s public schools.

“AB 659 is an important part of the equation, but it will require the combination of laws and activism by students and parents to achieve the objective of greater awareness about the Armenian Genocide,” stated Baghdassarian. Several years ago, the Genocide Education Project (GenEd), a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, developed model resources for high school teachers. “As a community, we must demand that our educators utilize these resources in order to ensure that future generations learn about the Armenian Genocide.”