Ohio substitute teacher Sheila Kearns has been found guilty of “disseminating matter harmful to juveniles” after screening horror movie ‘The ABCs of Death’ in five high school Spanish classes.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Franklin County jury in the Common Pleas court convicted Kearns on four out of five felony charges and acquitted her on one count.
Reportedly Kearns’ only statement after the verdict - against which she is expected to appeal - was “God is good.”
Kearns - who does not speak Spanish, and had never seen ‘The ABCs of Death’ before screening it in school - opted to show the film in class as she was under the impression it was in Spanish (which indeed segments of it are).
It would seem the ex-substitute teacher (who was fired less than a month after the April 2013 incident) was acquitted on the first charge owing to her genuine ignorance of the film’s often lurid and gruesome content at the time. (Read our initial report on the matter for more details.)
However, the jury ruled she had gained “sufficient knowledge” of how explicit it was by the time she proceeded to screen it again in four subsequent classes of students aged between 14 and 18.
The jury, who were unanimous in their guilty verdict, watched the film together as part of their proceedings; 22-year old foreman Riley Gilsen remarked, “For anybody, I think it would be a challenging video. Nobody enjoyed it.”
Tim League, producer of ‘The ABCs of Death,’ has commented on the matter, remarking “I agree with the prevailing sentiment that this is absolutely inappropriate for a substitute teacher to show anyone under the age of 17. It’s not a movie for children.”
Given the charge, Kearns could potentially serve four years in prison on top of a $10,000 fine - although it is reportedly expected she will instead go on probation. She will be sentenced on 4 March.
Picture Credit: Magnet Releasing