Substitute teacher on trial for teaching “THE ABCs OF DEATH”


You wouldn’t think the graphic anthology feature THE ABCs OF DEATH could be used as an educational tool—but apparently a substitute teacher in Columbus, OH did.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Sheila Kearns, who was then teaching at the city’s East High School, played ABCs during five Spanish classes in 2013, to students ranging from 14 to 18 years old. Kearns reportedly believed the film, which features segments in multiple languages (among them Nacho Vigalondo’s “A is for Apocalypse,” pictured above), was entirely in Spanish, and hadn’t screened it in advance. At one point, when an assistant principal entered the classroom, Kearns attempted to fast-forward through the movie, but instead paused it “with bare female breasts on the screen,” according to Assistant Prosecutor Kacey Chappelear.

Kearns, who no longer teaches at the school, went on trial yesterday in Common Pleas Court on five felony counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, with each charge punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine—though it is presumed that Kearns will receive probation. Over at his Twitter feed, ABCs producer Ant Timpson has started the hashtag #FREESHEILA.

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Michael Gingold

Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.

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