LESSONS LEARNED FROM GENOCIDE
By Naush Boghossian, Staff writer

Long Beach Press-Telegram, CA
April 4 2006

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.

And Los Angeles 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 "Witness" 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. 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.

An El Camino Real High School history teacher said "Witness" with its
stark portraits and poignant stories of victims brought to life for
him 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."

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 genocide.