By Charly SHELTON
“Whereas April is widely recognized as the month of commemoration for global communities that have been affected by man’s inhumanity to man as they mourn the Armenian genocide, European Holocaust, Cambodian genocide, Rwandan genocide and the start of the Bosnian war, which led to the start of the Srebrenica genocide, whereas Glendale, California has one of the largest Armenian communities outside of Armenia and whereas Armenian-American students contribute vibrancy and diversity to the population of the Glendale Unified School District and whereas the April 24 Armenian genocide anniversary is communally observed by Armenian families in Glendale and throughout the world…”
This is how Resolution 16, the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day April 24, begins. After more than three years of lobbying and speaking at school board meetings and speaking with the Glendale Teachers Association and gathering signatures, April 24 is now officially recognized as a non-instructional day for the entirety of the Glendale Unified School District.
At the monthly meeting of the GUSD board of education on March 15, an action item was officially voted on and unanimously accepted by the board to much applause and support from the audience in attendance. One such supporter was an elderly gentleman who spoke during the public comments section of the meeting through the use of an interpreter.
“As a human being, first and foremost,” Hako Bagumian said, “I really want April 24 to truly be recognized as the day of [remembrance for the] Armenian genocide which is not only a scar on the Armenian people but on the human race in general.”
After the vote unanimously passing Resolution 16, each board member expressed their feelings of happiness and support for not only the Armenian community but for the district in leading the way for the importance of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
“I look at our district as the lighthouse district throughout the United States,” said board member Greg Krikorian. “Just think of what type of historic moment this is. We are the first public school district in the United States to mark a day like this, to mark what we’re doing.”
For the past several years, April 24 has been a student-free day; with the passage of Resolution 16, the day will now be recognized formally as Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day.
For more information, visit GUSD.net.