Via- Columbus Dispatch
A Franklin County jury must decide whether a former substitute teacher for the Columbus City Schools committed a crime when she showed a movie filled with graphic sex and violence to five Spanish classes at East High School.
Sheila Kearns, 58, went on trial yesterday in Common Pleas Court on five felony counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
“It was a mistake that the state wants to turn into a crime,” he said.
Kearns, of Miller Avenue on the South Side, showed the movie on April 11, 2013, to students ranging in age from 14 to 18 during five class periods, Assistant Prosecutor Kacey Chappelear said. Some of the students are expected to testify during the trial.
Kearns tried to fast-forward through the movie when an assistant principal walked into the room, but instead caused the movie to pause “with bare female breasts on the screen,” Chappelear said.
The ABCs of Death, which the jury is expected to watch today, consists of 26 chapters, one for each letter of the alphabet and all focusing on different ways to die. For example, “D” is for “ dogfight” and “L” is for “libido.”
Chappelear said the movie contains graphic violence and explicit sex, including “full frontal nudity, masturbation, ejaculate, feces and vomit.”
Although available on Netflix, the movie “is not by any means appropriate for minors,” she said. Movie websites label it as NR — Not Rated.
Chappelear told the jury of 10 men and two women that they must decide whether the movie is harmful to juveniles and, if so, whether it fits the definition of obscenity under Ohio law.
Oglesby, a Sandusky lawyer, criticized the school district for hiring Kearns, who does not speak Spanish, as a long-term substitute in a Spanish classroom. Kearns had no choice but to show videos to keep the students occupied “in an act of glorified babysitting,” he said.
Although she thought The ABCs of Death was a Spanish film, only a few of the segments are in Spanish, Oglesby said. She did not watch the movie in advance, he said, and wouldn’t have shown it in the classroom if she had.
Among the considerations for the jury is whether the movie appeals primarily “to the prurient or scatological interest … rather than primarily for a genuine, scientific, educational, sociological, moral or artistic purpose.”
Chappelear said an East High teacher alerted an assistant principal after a student told her about seeing the movie in class. The assistant principal went to Kearns’ classroom, saw what was on the screen and confiscated the movie.
The school resource officer for East High contacted police.
Oglesby said Kearns continued to teach at the school until she was terminated in May 2013. She was indicted in February 2014.
“the movie contains graphic violence and explicit sex, including “full frontal nudity, masturbation, ejaculate, feces and vomit.”
Sounds like one HELL of a movie.
Substitute teacher has to be the best job on the planet, no? Think about it, substitute teachers are more or less the educational equivalents of a drunken one night stand. No strings attached, just show up, go through the motions and collect a paycheck. That’s a hell of a way to earn a living if you ask me. I just want to know where this lady was when I was in school? The only two subs I ever seemed to have were a woman that strikingly resembled an ostrich with snot coming out of her nose and a guy whose gaydar reading was absolutely off the charts. The worst part was that neither of them ever showed movies, like, ever. I can’t think of one God damn instance when The Goonies would be playing on repeat instead of some boring ass lecture on the Ming Dynasty or some shit. That violates everything that being a substitute teacher is all about in the first place. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the first thing in the substitute teacher’s handbook. Rule 1: All movies, all the time. I guess that’s why I just don’t see why what this lady did is all that big a deal. Oh, so a bunch of fourteen to eighteen year olds saw a couple bewbies on the teevee? Color me fucked. If you think this is the first time a bunch of prepubescent teens have seen a pair of digital (.)(.), then kindly tell me what planet you hail from because it sure as shit ain’t Earth.
“Kearns tried to fast-forward through the movie when an assistant principal walked into the room, but instead caused the movie to pause “with bare female breasts on the screen,”
I’d pay an untold amount of money, like, “murder my family and collect the life insurance” type money to be a fly on the wall to have witnessed that interaction. There isn’t a kid in that class that won’t remember that moment for the rest of their lives. I had a teacher trip over my buddy’s crutches during class in 8th grade and it’s still discussed to this day, and that pales into comparison to having the assistant principal bust your sub with a pair of grade A chest beefers on the big screen. Laugh out loud funny.