By Brett Clarkson

Toronto Sun 008/06/03/5754851-sun.html
June 3 2008

School trustees face the conflicting wrath of many in bid to limit
genocide course

Tears flowed, shouting matches erupted and a chorus of boos rang out
after a Toronto District School Board committee voted last night to
go ahead with a controversial Grade 11 course on genocide.

The packed meeting at the school board's headquarters on Yonge St.,
at Sheppard Ave., saw a delegation of Ukrainian Canadians pleading
with the board to include the 1932-33 Soviet-engineered famine that
killed millions of Ukrainians included in the course.

Turkish Canadians also protested the inclusion of the 1915 Armenian
genocide in the curriculum. Armenian Canadians, on the other hand,
lobbied the board to keep the slaughter of 1.5 million of their
ancestors -- at the hands of the ruling Ottoman Empire -- in the

The three-member committee voted in favour of director of education
Gerry Connelly's recommendations to base the course specifically around
the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

But the decision isn't final.

The recommendations will go to a vote of the full board of trustees
within three weeks, Connelly said.

She added the course's intent isn't to deem certain genocides more
worthy of study than others, but to use the three cases as examples.

"It's not a survey course of all the genocides," Connelly said. "The
intent is to take these as an example and use them in order to help
students become more critical thinkers and to understand the impact
of crimes against humanity and to actually go out and be advocates
to ensure this never happens again."


Members of the Ukrainian community said they were "insulted" by
the decision.

"I was insulted; our community was insulted," said Markian Shwec,
president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Armenian Canadians expressed relief the board didn't heed the
Turkish-Canadians demand to expunge the Armenian genocide from
ther course. Outside the meeting, Turkish Canadians who dispute
the Armenian claims that they suffered a genocide, argued with the
Armenian Canadians.