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Teacher Who Showed ‘The ABCs of Death’ to Her Students Sent to Jail

Magnet/Drafthouse Films

The internet will never stop arguing about when it is okay to show films with explicit content to children. But, there is one thing that we’re pretty sure everyone can agree on: showing the violent and disturbing The ABCs of Death to five classes of unsuspecting students is an act of irresponsible idiocy on just about every conceivable level. Columbus, Ohio substitute teacher Sheila Kearns was rightfully let go from her job back in 2013 when she screened the film for her substitute Spanish classes, but the courts have handed down an additional punishment: 90 days in jail.

Kearns was convicted of four counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, with the fifth count being dismissed because she could have conceivably made a mistake when she showed the movie to her first class. But five times? C’mon. Anyone who has seen The ABCs of Death knows that it’s impossible to ignore just how gruesome and unpleasant this movie is. The first two minutes of this 26-part horror anthology feature a woman graphically stabbing a man in the neck. From there, it only get worse, with people dying from self-mutilation, dog attacks, massive clouds of fart gas, and not being able to masturbate fast enough (it’s a weird movie). The ABCs of Death is the kind of movie that every adventurous horror fan should check out … just not in Spanish class.

So why did Kearns show this movie to her classes? Sure, a few of the segments (including the opening short) are in Spanish, but the majority of the film is in Japanese and English, with a smattering of other languages. It’s a genuinely baffling decision made all the more baffling because she claims to have not even watched the film:

I do love children. I am sorry. I should have watched the movie.

In any case, Kearns is off to spend 90 days in jail followed by three years of probation. Meanwhile, the producers of The ABCs of Death (who have already made one sequel and are planning more) have a wild story to emphasize their series’ impressive grotesqueness.

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