ANCA-WR Education Committee

LAUSD Stands in Solidarity with Artsakh

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region Education Committee welcomed the unanimous passage of a resolution by Los Angeles Unified School District addressing the recent aggression by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the people of Artsakh.

The resolution was introduced on Tuesday by board members Scott Schmerelson and Jackie Goldberg, and co-sponsored by fellow board members  Kelly Gonez, Nick Melvoin, and George McKenna during LAUSD’s emergency session meeting. Entitled “Standing with the Armenian People and the Republic of Artsakh,” the resolution calls out Azerbaijan’s coordinated aerial and missile attacks against Artsakh’s civilian population in the midst the COVID-19 pandemic and the moral equivalence between Artsakh and Azerbaijan as the latter continues its indiscriminate shelling of Artsakh’s civilian population and infrastructure.

As of Saturday, nearly two dozen civilians and more than 404 servicemen have been killed as a result of Azerbaijan’s deliberate aggression.

“We are truly and wholeheartedly thankful to the board members of the Los Angeles Unified School District for their principled stance against Azerbaijan and Turkey’s merciless attacks against the innocent people of Artsakh,” said Alice Petrossian, ANCA – Western Region Education Committee Chair. “As the people of Artsakh are literally fighting for survival, it is uplifting to see our representatives speak out against evil and we will continue to do everything in our God-given power to help the people of Artsakh.”

The resolution also criticizes the Republic of Turkey for supporting Azerbaijan and threatening the Republic of Armenia. As such, the resolution also calls for the California State Teachers’ Retirement Fund (CalSTRS) – which currently holds investment stocks owned by the Republic of Turkey – to divest from “any and all holdings, debt securities, global equities and currency investments by the Republic of Turkey for their ongoing continuation of a campaign of genocide against the Armenian people.”

The calls for divestment from the Republic of Turkey have been taking place since 2015; in California, student government bodies of all 9 campuses of the University of California (UC) called on the UC, the California State University system, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), as well as CalSTRS to divest from all government-issued bonds owned by the Republic of Turkey for their continued denial of the Armenian Genocide. In 2019, California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian introduced AB 1320 which would direct the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS to liquidate investments owned by the Republic of Turkey once the federal government issues sanctions against Turkey.