Sheila Kearns, Columbus City Schools substitute teacher has lost her appeal of her ninety day sentence for showing an explicit movie during class. She was allowed to remain free while she appealed the sentence. She was originally found guilty in March of 2015. That seems like awfully long, 2 1/2 years for an appeal of what amounted to an open and shut case.
From The Columbus Dispatch
Sheila Kearns, who was sentenced in March 2015, was taken to the Franklin County jail on Tuesday after Judge Charles Schneider denied her request to vacate the sentence.
Kearns, 61, of the South Side, had been allowed to defer her jail time as she appealed the case. Her defense team argued that she served probation with no issues during that time and has been rehabilitated.
“We think that since she has done so well on probation … a jail sentence at this point would be extra punitive,” defense attorney Danielle Kulik said.
But Schneider said the jail term had nothing to do with whether Kearns violated her probation.
The school district fired Kearns in June 2013. The Ohio Department of Education permanently revoked her substitute-teaching license after her conviction.
On Tuesday, Schneider also denied a request that would have allowed Kearns work-release to continue her job at a law firm.
Kulik said attorneys are now considering an appeal of the judge’s decision to enforce the sentence and may also file a federal petition to argue that Kearns’ First Amendment right to free speech has been violated.