News 4 Washington Middle Schoolers Disciplined over "Death Note"
posted on 2008-05-24 18:59 EDT
The Kopachuck Middle School in Gig Harbor, Washington expelled one student and disciplined three others on May 14 for writing 50 names in their own "Death Note" book. In the Death Note suspense manga, live-action films, and anime, a teenager finds a notebook with which he can put people to death by writing their names and the dictated manners of death. Authorities said that the students' book included names of fellow students, a teacher, President George W. Bush, Paris Hilton, and other celebrities.
According to Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Ed Troyer, another student found the four disciplined students' book on the floor at the school and gave the book to a teacher. The teacher contacted the office of Principal Dave Colombini, who contacted the authorities. Colombini sent the following telephone message to the parents of his school's 620 students on May 15:
“Recently, an event at Kopachuck has raised safety awareness to an even higher level. A few students wrote some fear-provoking notes in a published book, and the matter has been thoroughly investigated. There is no credible threat to the school, students or staff.”
Troyer added, "This is typical Japanese horror movie stuff and is not a credible threat. We see how it could upset parents, but the appropriate actions have taken place, and there is no threat." The school's district superintendent, Terry Bouck, said that such a book is inappropriate for school, but declined to say that books like these will be banned. A father of one student who was suspended for three days said that the book was an outlet for frustration from about two years of bullying.
There were at least three previous incidents in the United States where school officials linked Death Note directly to students being disciplined. One high school senior in Richmond, Virginia was suspended in December over a list of his classmates' names that the school principal linked to Death Note. A middle school student in Hartsville, South Carolina was "removed" from school over a "Death Note" notebook in March. In Gadsden, Alabama, two sixth-grade students were arrested in April for a notebook that allegedly listed their school staff and fellow students in a manner similar to the Death Note anime series.
Source: The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington