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Michigan Middle School Boy Suspended Over 'Death Note'

posted on 2010-03-26 14:54 EDT
Names of 2 other students listed in notebook of 14-year-old boy

The Argus-Press newspaper reports on Friday that a 14-year-old middle school student from Owosso, Michigan was suspended indefinitely after another student found a "Death Note" created by the 14-year-old boy. Owosso Police Department Deputy Director Michael Rau said the notebook contained two student's names and times, but the listed times had already passed.

The student who discovered the notebook had given it to a teacher, who then gave it to school administrators on Tuesday. The county prosecutor's office is now handling the incident, but both Rau and the school's principal, Rich Collins, said that they believe no student was in danger.

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 five 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. A 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. Two elementary school students from Oklahoma City were to be disciplined last December for allegedly writing the names of two other students and the manners of their fictional deaths in a "Death Note" notebook.

On the other hand, a Washington state librarians' group nominated the manga for a young adults' book award. The manga's Taiwanese publisher and a non-profit Taiwanese watchdog group supported the work for raising issues.


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