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Tennessee Mother: Boy Wrote Daughter's Name in 'Death Note'

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
School district says suspended 4th grader poses no danger

Michelle Killough, the mother of a 10-year-old girl who attends Grahamwood Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee, reported that a fellow fourth-grade boy had put her daughter's name on a "death list." Killough's research led her to discover the Death Note anime, and she noted similarities to the incident with her daughter.

She said, “I was reading about [Death Note]. They put you on a special notebook, and you die." Regarding the incident with her daughter, Killough said, “A boy that had been harassing her stopped her in the hall and said, 'You're on my death list.'” Teachers at the school reportedly found the list in the boy's math notebook on Wednesday. Shelby County Schools is investigating the incident and reportedly told Killough that the boy got the idea for the list from a television show.

Killough said that the boy was suspended, but he returned to the school on Monday. The boy continues to harass the 10-year-old girl, according to the mother. Killough said that she considered keeping her daughter home, but “I get threatened with, 'Keep her out and you'll be charged with truancy.' I'm only trying to protect my daughter.”

Shelby County Schools said that the boy had been disciplined for "making threatening comments," and the organization believes that the "student poses no imminent threat."

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 more than ten 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. Last year, an Ohio school handed a student a three-day in-school suspension after a teacher found a "Death List" book containing the names of several other students.

Source: WMC Action News 5 (Tiffany Neely)


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