A former Columbus-area teacher has been found guilty of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. That matter? Drafthouse Films macabre horror anthology, The ABCs of Death.
The story goes teacher Sheila Kearns, hired as a long-term Spanish sub despite not speaking the language, exposed five various classes to the 26-segment omnibus in 2013, believing the film to be entirely Spanish-language. The film was confiscated by an assistant principal after finding out about the classroom screenings, and Kearns and her attorney have since protested she had no knowledge of the films content.
Following a trial, Kearns has been convicted of four felony counts of disseminating matter with the jury, quite reasonably believing Kearns would likely have been aware of the films graphic content by the end of the second period she showed. Unsurprisingly, Timo Tjahjantos transgressive L for Libidoa short featuring a masturbation contest, certain death for losers and a litany of taboo subjectswas a particular point of contention.
Filmmakers behind The ABCs of Death like producer Ant Timpson, writer Simon Barrett and directors Jason Eisener and Adrian Garcia Bogliano have been following the matter on social media, sharing commentary and expressing a sadness that their film is both a reason Kearns is now facing legal penalties, and that counsel freely condemned the film as being questionable and obscene.
Kearns faces a maximum sentence of one year for each felony count and a fine of $2500. Probation, however, is expected, reports the Columbus Dispatch.