New Jersey Teacher Forces Students To Dig Ditch To Represent Mass Grave For Holocost Victims
A librarian at District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) accused of forcing third-graders to reenact the Holocaust has a prior criminal record in New Jersey, according to records from the New Jersey Department of Education.
Kimberlynn Jurkowski, Watkins Elementary School’s librarian and media specialist was put on a leave of absence after third-graders reported that she assigned students to dig ditches to represent mass graves, simulate shootings, and even asked one student to play Hitler.
Jurkowski has a prior criminal record for theft and falsifying records at a school district in New Jersey, according to records from New Jersey’s Education Department. She also has a cruelty to animals charge from 2019.
The DCPS employee lost her teaching license for three years, from 2017 to 2020, according to court documents. Jurkowski was found guilty of employing an at-home tutor for her children then asked the tutor to submit timesheets to the district and kept $24,000, even though the tutor had not been there “for a period of time.” Following the guilty verdict, Jurkowski was fired.
“In October 2013, an Atlantic County jury found Jurkowski guilty of Theft by Deception and Falsifying or Tampering with Records, which included falsifying Hamilton Township School District time sheets [sic] for tutoring services that were not provided.”
Jurkowski was never convicted for her crimes but was instead placed in pretrial intervention.
When fighting for her teaching certificates to remain in good standing, Jurkowski insisted that “signing tutoring verifications that contained inaccuracies was an error in judgment and did not impact her fitness as a teacher or demonstrate her inability to be an educator.”
Jurkowski has been employed with DCPS since 2014, according to her LinkedIn Profile.
Jurkowski is accused of making “anti-Semitic statements,” according to Watkins Elementary Principal Scott Berkowitz. She also told students that the Germans were angry “because the Jews ruined Christmas.” Another student was allegedly told to pretend to ride a train to a death camp.
Students said that Jurkowski told them not to talk about the activity with anyone else.
Jurkowski said she believes “somebody’s misquoting what happened in the library that day.” She claimed she was “shocked” to see a letter from the principal condemning the assignment. The district is still investigating the incident.