A District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) librarian who has been accused of forcing third-graders to reenact the Holocaust was found to have a criminal record in New Jersey.
Kimberlynn Jurkowski, Watkins Elementary School’s librarian and media specialist was put on leave after third-graders told about her instructing them to dig ditches to represent mass graves, simulate shootings, and even asked one student to play Hitler.
Jurkowski has a 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.
Jurowski, lost her teaching license for three years, from 2017 to 2020, according to court documents. She had been found guilty of employing an at-home tutor for her children then asking the tutor to submit timesheets to the district and kept $24,000 for herself even though the tutor had not been there “for a period of time.” Following the guilty verdict, Jurkowski was fired.
“In October 2013, a 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 requesting that her teaching certificates remain in good standing, Jurkowski said 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.”
She 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 instructed to pretend to ride a train to a death camp.
Students said that Jurkowski told them not to tell anyone about the activity.
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 looking into the incident.