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Police Investigate Connecticut Middle School Boy Over 'Death Note'

posted on by Egan Loo
Student no longer in school after he was found with booklet listing names

Connecticut State Police is investigating a seventh-grade boy after administrators at his middle school in Griswold discovered that he had a "Death Note" booklet on Monday. Griswold Superintendent Paul Smith said the booklet listed less than six students' names.

According to the school administrators, another student had seen the booklet and told his or her parents. After administrators learned of the booklet, they notified the families of the students on the list and sent an email to parents. The administrators assured parents of the safety of the school, and the student will not be in school for the rest of the academic year, which ends this week.

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

There have been at least nine previous incidents in the United States where school officials linked "Death Notes" to students being disciplined. A high school senior in Richmond, Virginia was suspended in 2007 over a list of his classmates 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.

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 in December 2009 for allegedly listing two other students and the manners of their fictional deaths in a "Death Note" notebook. An eighth-grade student was suspended indefinitely from a middle school in Owosso, Michigan after a "Death Note" notebook was found in March 2010. A 14-year-old eighth-grade student from Pennsylvania's Avonworth Middle School was suspended after a "Death Note" list was found on a school bus in May 2010.

A fifth-grade boy at Stewart Elementary School in Pittsburgh was suspended after he allegedly posted a "death note" in his elementary school in February. That same month, a male student at Shelby County's East Middle School in Kentucky was under investigation by school officials after "Death Note" list containing student and faculty names was found.

On the other hand, a Washington state librarians' group nominated the manga for a young adults' book award in 2007. The manga's Taiwanese publisher and a non-profit Taiwanese watchdog group supported the work in 2007 for raising issues. A mother in New Mexico called for a ban on the manga in Albuquerque Public Schools in 2010, but a committee voted unanimously against the ban.

Sources: The Bulletin, NBC Connecticut, WFSN 3 Connecticut

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