An elementary school staff member who allegedly had students reenact the Holocaust and a Jewish student play Adolf Hitler has a criminal record.
Kimberlynn Jurkowski, a librarian and media specialist at Watkins Elementary School in Washington, D.C., lost her teaching license for three years after she was found guilty by a jury in October 2013 of theft and falsifying documents, according to records from the New Jersey Department of Education.
Jurkowski, who was accused of telling a tutor for her two children to submit timesheets to the school district even though instruction had ended, was convicted of defrauding the Hamilton Township school district of more than $20,000.
According to Fox 5, she lost her job in Atlantic City, and court documents also show she faced a cruelty to animals charge in 2019.
In the latest controversy at Watkins Elementary School, Jurkowski was placed on leave after allegations emerged that she had third graders reenact the Holocaust, including gravedigging and simulated executions, according to the Washington Post.
Principal MScott Berkowitz told parents in an email that the students were originally supposed to have been doing a “self-directed project they would present to their classmates before winter break.”
“I want to acknowledge the gravity of this poor instructional decision, as students should never be asked to act out or portray any atrocity, especially genocide, war, or murder,” Berkowitz said.
The D.C. Public Schools’ Comprehensive Alternative Resolution and Equity Team is now investigating the incident.
A spokesperson for the D.C. Public School system said that the reenactment was “not an approved lesson plan, and we sincerely apologize to our students and families who were subjected to this incident.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to Berkowitz for a statement.
Original Article: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/dc-librarian-who-allegedly-told-elementary-students-to-act-out-holocaust-has-prior-criminal-record