Substitute Teacher Who Showed Students Movie With Sex And Violence Sentenced To 90 Days In Jail

| by Lisa Fogarty

A substitute teacher who was hired at a Columbus, Ohio, high school to teach Spanish, despite not knowing how to speak Spanish, was reportedly sentenced to 90 days in jail after she showed her students a graphic movie filled with violence and sex. 

Sheila Kearns, 58, was reportedly convicted in January of four counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, sentenced to 90 days, and put on probation for three years. Her jail time was made a condition of her probation, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

The long-term substitute, who was put in charge of teaching Spanish at East High School, reportedly showed her five classes the film "The ABCs of Death" on April 11, 2013, and says she didn't review the movie in advance. She reportedly claims she had her back to the screen every time it played and failed to see how each chapter of the unrated movie contained a graphic depiction of a bizarre death and also included full-frontal nudity and sex scenes.

Two students reportedly testified against Kearns and the judge said he was "shocked and disappointed" that more parents hadn't allowed their children to speak in court. 

"That was wrong," said Common Pleas Judge Charles A. Schneider. "The community has to take responsibility."

A school district spokesman reportedly told The Dispatch that it isn't easy to find foreign language teachers and that the school "was unable to find anyone that could teach the language at that time." 

The district reportedly fired Kearns in June 2013 and the Ohio Department of Education permanently revoked her substitute teaching license after her conviction.

Kearns didn't reportedly testify, but apologized at her hearing and said: "I do love children. I am sorry. I should have watched the movie."

Kearns' attorney reportedly said she plans to appeal that conviction. 

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

Photo Credit: Max Wolfe/Flickr