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New Hampshire School Disciplines Student After Finding 'Death Note' Book

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Book listed names, dates, cause of death for 17 fellow students

School officials at Nashua High School North in New Hampshire are deciding how to discipline a student after a "Death Note" book was found last Friday with the names of 17 fellow students. The book had listed the dates, times, and causes of death for the students.

School officials said that a student spoke up after finding the book. The school emailed parents and contacted parents of the 17 students last Friday, but parents said that some of the students knew about the book before then, but didn't say anything for fear of having their names written in the book. Some parents expressed frustration that the school didn't inform them of the incident sooner.

Superintendent Mark Conrad said on Monday, "we don't believe children were in danger at any point in time." He added, "We did not find any evidence that the student had intended to harm students or that there were any plans beyond simply placing the students' names on the list."

According to the New Hampshire news website NH1, the parents of the 17 students met with school administration officials behind closed doors on Tuesday regarding the incident.

Conrad said on Tuesday that school officials are "still investigating what discipline is appropriate," but said that due to confidentiality, he won't say what discipline the student will face when it is decided. While school officials are withholding the name of the suspect, one parent referred to the student as a girl.

School officials said that they would continue to work with parents and students until everyone feels safe.

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.

This is at least the fourth incident this year in the United States where school officials linked "Death Notes" to students being disciplined. 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 a "Death Note" list containing student and faculty names was found. In June, police in Connecticut investigated a seventh-grade boy after administrators at his middle school discovered that he had a "death note" booklet that listed less than six students' names.

There have been at least seven other previous incidents in the United States since 2007.

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: WMUR, NH1 via Design & Trend, Comic Book Resources

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