Ohio Middle School Suspends Girl After Finding 'Death List' Based on Death Note
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
School officials at Lakewood Middle School in Hebron, Ohio handed a student a three-day in-school suspension after a teacher found a "Death List" book containing the names of several other students.
Licking County Sheriff's Office Captain Chris Slayman responded to the report from the school on March 14, and forwarded the case to a detective, listing the offense as inducing panic.
A statement from the school said that the student was participating in "Fandom Day" as part of a school fundraising effort, and that the book was a prop by the student, who had dressed as the main character in the Death Note anime. The school informed staff and investigators about the manga and anime series, and further stated that it "did not find any evidence that the student had intended to harm students or that there were any plans beyond placing the students' names on the list." No charges have been filed against the owner of the book.
The student had reportedly misplaced the book and worried that she would get into trouble if someone found it. Other students said that they have similar books, but do not bring them to school or have any names written on them.
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 ten 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 in February 2015 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. A middle school in Griswold, Connecticut investigated a seventh-grade student after discovering he possessed a "Death Note" booklet.
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.