The Connecticut State Police are investigating a seventh-grader who allegedly created a Death Note-inspired booklet containing the names of classmates. The student won't be permitted to return to Griswold Middle School for the remainder of the year, which ends Friday.
In an email sent Tuesday to parents, Griswold Public Schools Superintendent Paul K. Smith said that although students had been aware of the booklet's existence, it wasn't brought to the attention of the administration until Monday. The police were called immediately.
In Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s hit manga turned anime and live-action movie franchise, a high school student sets out to rid the world of evil using a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it.
Although Smith acknowledged that the booklet is "a booklet based on an anime cartoon" and doesn't pose a threat to students, he assured parents the district is taking the incident seriously.
"The families of the few students who were on the list have been notified," he wrote in the email, reprinted by NBC Connecticut. "The student is not in school for the rest of the year and though we are treating this as if it could move to the most critical of situations, there is no reason to think that we are anything but safe at this time. Police and counselors do not see this as a threat to the school or individuals."
Additional disciplinary actions against the student will be determined by the findings of the police investigation.
"Death note" scares occurred with some frequency in the United States between 2008 and 2010 — an attempt to ban the manga in Albuquerque Public Schools failed in 2010 — but have died down more recently. Still, this is at least the third incident to occur this year.
Death Note is among the 38 manga and anime titles blacklisted earlier this month by China's Ministry of Culture.