You probably remember when a teacher got in trouble for showing ABCs of Death to a classroom of high school students. At the time, we joked about it, because we've all seen and loved ABCs of Death and liked the idea that its very existence is harmful to minors. It felt funny and rebellious and punk rock.
But then that teacher, Sheila Kearns, faced felony charges, and has recently been sentenced to three months in jail. For showing a movie. In the United States. The story feels a lot less funny now.
ABCs producers Ant Timpson and Tim League have started an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for Sheila's appeal and to keep her out of prison. Here's Ant:
Sheila Kearns is a 58-yr old grandmother living in Ohio, USA. She was recently sentenced to JAIL for showing a movie to a classroom of high-school kids. Let's say that last part again for emphasis.
SHE WAS JAILED FOR SHOWING A MOVIE!
The movie is called The ABCS of DEATH and it was produced by Ant Timpson (me) and my good friend Tim League. We are here seeking to raise funds for Sheila Kearns appeal and to keep her out of jail.
We first heard of Sheila Kearns's extraordinary case in January of this year. We were both incredulous to hear that she was up on five felony charges for showing our movie to high-school kids. We also discovered that she had already lost her career over a year earlier but was now on trial facing felony charges.
On March 4th she was convicted and sentenced to 3-months of jail and 3yrs probation for “disseminating matter harmful to juveniles”. Sheila's conviction has caught the attention of worldwide media with all asking "why is a 58-yr old grandmother doing hard-time for showing a movie?"
We agree with this popular sentiment. We're not hear to argue the merits of our film. We're simply here to raise money for Sheila Kearns appeal.
We have spoken to Sheila's family and her lawyer and it's going to cost some major dough for her appeal. The sort of money Sheila doesn't have.
We think that sending a 58-yr old grandmother to jail for a victimless crime is utterly abhorrent. It's the kind of thing you expect to hear from some far flung corner of the earth not from the good ol USA.
To help Sheila we have to raise the money quickly. We really only have days to organise this appeal.
If you think that that punishment doesn't fit the crime (and why wouldn't you) then please help us out in helping raise the necessary funds to mount an appeal by donating or even simply sharing the cause through social media.
She has lost her job and her teaching career is over. She lost her dignity and has been humiliated for over 2-yrs now. Yes she made a huge mistake but we feel she has already been punished enough.
Let's get Sheila back with her family where she belongs.
Support this campaign HERE, and by spreading the word on social. #FreeSheila.