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2 Oklahoma Students to Be Disciplined for 'Death Note'

posted on 2009-12-17 13:27 EST
2 other students from elementary school listed in notebook's writing

The Oklahoma City Friday newspaper reports on Thursday that two students from Andrew Johnson Elementary School are to be disciplined for a notebook that is described as a "'Death Note,' which is in reference to a movie." The notebook has two pages with writing that referred to two other students: "Kill (student's name) by gun shotgunshell in her hand” and “(student's name) shot by a sniper.”

According to the newspaper, the writing had the names of two girls at the school who had recently angered the two students with the notebook. The students with the notebook allegedly admitted at least part of the writing. The principal contacted the police as mandated by school policy, but she intends to handle the disciplining of the students herself.

In the Death Note suspense manga, live-action films, and anime adaptation, a teenager finds a notebook with which he can put people to death by writing their names and the dictated manners of death.

There were at least four previous incidents in the United States where school officials linked "Death Notes" to students being disciplined. One high school senior in Richmond, Virginia was suspended in 2007 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 of 2008. In Gadsden, Alabama, two sixth-grade students were arrested in the following month for a notebook that allegedly listed their school staff and fellow students in a manner similar to the Death Note anime series. The Kopachuck Middle School in Gig Harbor, Washington expelled one student and disciplined three others in May of 2008 for writing 50 names in their own "Death Note" book. However, a Washington state librarians' group nominated the manga for a young adults' book award.

Death Note has been the subject of scrutiny by schools in other countries as well. School officials in the Chinese city of Shenyang banned the manga and replicas of the Death Note notebook in 2005, and the educational bureau in Taiwan's Pingtung County warned parents about the manga in 2007. On the other hand, the manga's Taiwanese publisher and a non-profit Taiwanese watchdog group supported the work for raising issues. Two messages left in a Belgian crime scene have been associated with Death Note, but police in that 2007 case have yet to identify a suspect or any further link to the manga. Within the past year, teachers found a "Death Note," specifying how students and staff members would die, in the bag of an eighth-grade boy in southwestern Sydney.


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