Palm Beach County School Board

April 19, 2017

View PDF of document

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2015 the Ottoman Turkish government began a premeditated campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide against its Christian Armenian minority population, resulting in the death of an estimated one and one half million Armenians that continued until 1923; and

WHEREAS;, on July 16, 1915, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, wrote to the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, and reported that “Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress;” and

WHEREAS; on May 28, 1951, the United States Government affirmed the Armenian Genocide in a statement to the International Criminal Court, which stated that “The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide;” and

WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives officially acknowledged the World War I mass killings of Armenians as the Armenian Genocide through adopted legislation in 1975 and 1984; and

WHEREAS; this resolution calls on the people of the United States to observe April 24th as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry; and

WHEREAS, former Florida Governors Bob Martinez in 1990, and Jeb Bush in 2006, issued proclamations designating April 24th as “Armenian Martyrs’ Day; and

WHEREAS, Armenian Americans contribute richly to Florida's social mosaic and add to our Political, educational, and economic development; and

WHEREAS, educators in Palm Beach County, Florida are encouraged to teach about human rights, the Armenian Genocide, and consequences of genocide denial beginning at the high school education level.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Superintendent and School Board of Palm Beach County do hereby proclaim April 2015, as the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in memory of the victims of the Genocide and affirm the need to educate students about this tragedy and the consequences of the subsequent denial beginning at the high school level.

Chuck Shaw, Chairman