Watkins Elementary: School under fire as teacher forces third-graders to reenact Holocaust

When the students asked why the Germans had committed genocide, the school employee replied, 'because the Jews ruined Christmas'


                            Watkins Elementary: School under fire as teacher forces third-graders to reenact Holocaust
The staffer made the students pretend to die in gas chambers and shoot their classmates in horrifying reenactments of the Holocaust (Google)

A DC elementary school staffer has come under fire for making third-graders pretend to die in gas chambers and shoot their classmates in horrifying reenactments of the Holocaust. The instructor, who is still unnamed, has been placed on leave, Watkins Elementary School’s principal told parents in an email. 

Last week, the third-graders had been sent to a library class where the staffer made them enact horrifying scenes from the Holocaust, Principle MScott Berkowitz said. Parents have claimed that when the students asked why the Germans had committed genocide, the school employee replied, "because the Jews ruined Christmas." The employee also reportedly cast one student, who parents claimed is Jewish, like Adolf Hitler. At the end of the exercise, the student was asked to pretend to commit suicide. One student was made to pretend like they were on a train to a concentration camp. The staffer was accused of "using hate speech during the lesson.”

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The staff member allegedly asked the students not to tell anybody about the reenactments, but the students informed their homeroom teacher about the incident. “I want to acknowledge the gravity of this poor instructional decision,” Berkowitz wrote, “as students should never be asked to act out or portray any atrocity, especially genocide, war, or murder.” “No matter the intent of an incident, we are always required to report it so that we can move forward to restore our community and repair harm,” said Berkowitz.

A school investigation is taking place at present. "This was not an approved lesson plan, and we sincerely apologize to our students and families who were subjected to this incident," a spokesperson for DCPS said. Following the incident, the entire class had a meeting with the Watkins Elementary School mental health response team, Berkowitz's email said. DCPS has claimed that the students who were involved in the incident are being supported by the DCPS Comprehensive Alternative Resolution & Equity Team.

In December itself, a professor sparked backlash after launching a racist tirade against White people while responding to a video posted by a prominent conservative pundit. Cassandra Aline Jones, who reportedly serves as an Adjunct Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte and an Associate Professor at Rockbridge Seminary, wrote that white people are the “largest percentage of DEMONIC MONSTERS in this country" while responding to a video posted by right-wing firebrand Candace Owens about intraracial crime on December 1, 2021.