Calls on Activists to Contact Local School District Officials

February 23, 2000

BOSTON, Massachusetts; As a Massachusetts school curriculum on Genocide and human rights nears adoption by local school districts, State Senator Steven Tolman (D-Boston) is urging statewide implementation.

Massachusetts activists are asked to call on their school district superintendent to implement the Massachusetts human rights and genocide curriculum initiative.

Senator Steven Tolman and his brother, former Senator Warren Tolman, sponsored 1996 legislation establishing a Massachusetts human rights and genocide curriculum. Following a strong statewide grassroots campaign, Governor Paul Cellucci signed the 1998 Massachusetts law adding study of the Armenian Genocide to the state curriculum.

After research and consultation with genocide specialists, the Department of Education produced the Massachusetts Guide to Choosing and Using Curricular Materials on Genocide and Human Rights Issues, which it presented to the Legislature in March 1999.

Senator Steven Tolman and the Massachusetts Board of Education worked together to remove material denying the Armenian Genocide from the Guide and resisted attempts by the Turkish government to insert misinformation into the curriculum.

"I want to thank the many citizens who played a positive role in enacting this important correction to the human rights and genocide curriculum," said Senator Steven Tolman. "I also want to commend the Board of Education for bringing this matter to its rightful conclusion."

The Armenian National Institute provided valuable research support to the Senator’s office throughout the legislative process. Also, hundreds of Armenian Assembly activists played an important role by urging their elected officials to support the curriculum.

The Armenian National Institute is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.