The school year started on September 15. During the previous two weeks, the press spread the most pervasive lies about schools and children: fake sex education textbooks, fabricated transgender people, distorted American laws, and so on.
The new standards of education were manipulated by the sexologist and the pedagogue
The resumption of schools was an occasion for spreading manipulative news about the new general education standards. Thus, sexologist Narine Nersisyan announced that due to the new standards there will be “an increase in the number of homosexuals.”
Nersisyan often makes false or manipulative allegations about sexuality. In a film about the Lanzarote Convention, funded by the former head of the National Security Service Arthur Vanetsyan Foundation, Nersisyan said that it was too early to teach children under 12 to protect themselves from sexual violence. Fip.am mentions that in 2014 Nersisyan had the exact opposite opinion, announcing that sex education starts “from the day of birth.”
Moreover, homosexuals are now the main target of Nersisyan’s statements, but in 2014 she spoke about the problems of Armenia’s “homophobic society.”
Thus, the misleading claims about the standards did not end. Aida Topuzyan, the head of the pedagogical chair of the Pedagogical University, stated during the discussion initiated by the “National Agenda” party that children should not know about the equal rights of men and women. Topuzyan discovered “very hidden” principles of the Istanbul-Lanzarote conventions in the new educational standards.
She also stated that children should be presented with the data of the female reproductive cycle in the form of a graph in mathematics classes. Topuzyan’s claims were spread by times.am, panorama.am, aravot.am, news.am, etc.
Deputy Minister of Education and Science Zhanna Andreasyan called the statements made during this discussion a “parade of misinformation.”
Websites shared an old photo and news unrelated to Armenia
The press and Facebook users found transgender people among the Diaspora Armenian specialists who arrived in Sarigyugh through the program “IGORTS.” The photo of Canadian musician DJ Jesse Osborne Lanthier, who visited Sarigyugh in 2019, was spread with sensational headlines.
Another false textbook on sexuality was spread. The Facebook account supporting Robert Kocharyan published pictures of a 1999 booklet and announced that it was an elementary school book. The big news outlets – “168 Zham“, 7or.am, mamul.am, lurer.com, spread the information without checking. Soon, however, the author of the book was found and they said that it had nothing to do with elementary classes and that it was intended for a professional seminar.
This is not the first time that a casual book has been presented as a textbook on “sex education.”
The topic was not limited to this. The websites posted a video about how a teacher “masturbates during the lesson.” The article with the sensational title appeared on blognews.am, as well as on other websites. Neither in the title nor in the text did the author mention that the case had anything to do with Armenian schools. The incident took place in Russia.
Armenian media spread falsifications about the new US law on sexual violence
Arthur Danielyan, the leader of the “Adequate” extreme conservative group, wrote on his Facebook page that in California “those who have oral or anal sex with a child over the age of eight do not have to register as a sexual abuser.”
Danielyan’s assertion echoes the false rumors spread in the American extreme conservative circles about the new law passed in California.
In fact, the law applies to oral or anal sex between 14 and 17 years of age (sexual intercourse with persons under the age of 18 is illegal in California), and the partner must be no more than ten years older. In such a case of vaginal sex, the judge can decide whether to enter the accused in the register of perpetrators of sexual crimes or not. There was no such opportunity in the case of oral sex, the law also sets the same conditions for these two types of sexual intercourse.
Robert Kocharyan spread an old and refuted myth
In early September, the Russian RBC news published an interview with the second president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan. The article was published about a month after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s interview with RBC.
During the conversation, Kocharyan made some remarkable statements. For example, he thought that the society in Armenia was divided “on the basis of intellect”; he urged Russia to use soft power against Armenia better.
Kocharyan repeated the old and denied conspiracy theories about the George Soros Foundation. When asked by the host why he did not close the Soros Foundation, Kocharyan stated that he did not know about its existence, it was a “marginal” structure, which in his time did not even have an office space, it was moved from house to house. According to Kocharyan, the people of the Soros Foundation have now joined the government.
This assertion, like other similar statements about Open Society Foundations, is misleading. The George Soros Foundation has been operating in Armenia since 1997. The list of grants provided by the foundation is open; it can be seen that in just one year of Kocharyan’s presidency, the foundation has provided grants of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Armenia.
❌ On September 1, the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister Eduard Aghajanyan denied the information spread by “Pastinfo” that “hundreds of millions of abuses were found in the renovation of government-private houses.” Aghajanyan mentioned that the amount has been inflated dozens of times. He also stated that the information that NA deputy Hrachya Hakobyan actively participated in the election of the contractor company did not correspond to reality.
Abuses have really been found, and according to Aghajanyan, he himself applied to law enforcement.
❌ The press secretary of Yerevan Municipality Hakob Karapetyan denied the rumors that a skyscraper will be built in Victory Park to replace cut down trees. According to him, no trees have been cut down in the park, and there are no plans to build a skyscraper.
❌ The Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan said on his Facebook page that he had decided to sue those who spread misinformation about “sex education” in schools and those who spread misinformation about its alleged textbooks.
❌ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan denied the publication of lurer.com which stated that after the revolution “diplomatic passports were distributed to people ‘left and right’ to 783 individuals.” Naghdalyan noted that this number also includes the number of new passports issued on the occasion of the expiration of diplomatic passports. Moreover, 764 passports were received by the people performing diplomatic service and their family members. 19 passports were issued by the decision of the Prime Minister.