Massachusetts will require its public schools to cover the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century following a decision by state legislators. This makes Massachusetts the sixth state in the United States to mandate education on the genocide, during which the Ottoman Empire killed or displaced around 2 million Armenian Christians.
Despite much advocacy from Armenian groups regarding the addition of the Armenian Genocide to Massachusetts’ curriculum, some Turkish groups fought against the new mandate. The Turkish government continues to undertake a campaign of denial surrounding the genocide, and has been known to spread disinformation surrounding the atrocity.
Last year, President Joe Biden became only the second United States president to affirm the existence of the genocide, greatly angering his Turkish counterparts and adding to the already tense U.S.-Turkey alliance.
Although the Armenian Genocide occurred more than a century ago, education about the atrocity is still vital to continue. In the 2020 Karabakh War, Turkish-paid mercenaries and Azerbaijani soldiers committed several war crimes against the Armenian Christian population of Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh) in manners reminiscent of the genocide.
In order to preserve the memory of the rich Christian heritage of Armenia, the first Christian nation in the world, and prevent such future atrocities from happening, institutions must continue to educate future generations on the devastation of the Armenian genocide.