ANTHONY TIMPSON – known as ANT TIMPSON, a New Zealand film-maker, is fighting to free a US teacher jailed for showing his unrated horror film THE ABCs OF DEATH – containing explicit sex and featuring gory deaths – to US school students, some as young as 14..
Grandma and substitute teacher Sheila Kearns, 58, showed the Kiwi produced flick to a class she was teaching in Columbus, Ohio two years ago. The film remains unrated in the USA
Anthony Timpson said his film is intended for adults. But Kearns showed it to students as young as 14 in five Spanish language classes. Kearns was dismissed from the school and its board reported her to police.
She was arrested on five felony charges and in January this year was found guilty of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles [referred to as “objectionable material” under NZ censorship law].
She received a jail sentence of 90 days. Timpson thinks she was wrong to show his film to teens.
As a parent Ant Timpson claims he wouldn’t want his children watching it.
‘It tells a tale of mortality with each letter. It’s a really warped spin on the classic children’s alphabet book,” he said.
But he is now campaigning to free her.
“Initially I just thought you do something really stupid and you’ve got to pay for that mistake but after learning more about the case – she’s lost her job, she’s got no career, she’s been in limbo ever since the story caught worldwide media attention.”
He claims the punishment was too extreme for her crime.
” It’s absolutely absurd to send a 58-year-old grandmother to jail for showing a movie.”
Kearns apologised during her court case.
She said she was asked to teach Spanish classes but cannot speak Spanish, so put the movie on to “babysit” the class. She claimed she never watched the movie and had no idea what it was about.
Judge Charles A Schneider, who presided in the case, chastised her saying that was “unconscionable.”
Timpson has launched a fundraiser to pay Kearns’ legal fees for an appeal on April 10. So far he’s raised more than $4500 of the $15,000 he needs.
Sourced from Stuff News: Story by Jess McAllen Published 11 March 2013