I've seen some nonsensical school Death Note replica over-reactions in my time, but this one truly takes the biscuit. Or should that be the cookie? As needless to say, this is the USA.
An anime loving girl - aged 12-14 - has been given a three day suspension from Lakewood Middle School in Hebron, Licking County, Ohio, for turning up clutching a reproduction Death Note.
Inside were listed the names of some of her friends. Unlike many previous cases, this wasn't a lashing out silently at bullies situation. This was a bit of fun, attempting to freak out her buddies.
Because here's the rub: it was a 'spirit day'. A fund-raising event for the school, whereby pupils could don the costume of their favourite fandom character. She arrived cosplaying Light Yagami.
She'd spent the weekend creating the notebook as a prop. It was part of the outfit.
The girl in question didn't anticipate any hassle. Probably because she saw no danger, only fun. On account of the fact that a shinigami's notebook of death is a fictitious thing; and anyway, she didn't own one. She'd crafted it herself in her bedroom. No Ryuk in attendance.
No-one was ever going to die.
The fund-raiser occurred on March 14th 2016. During the morning, the girl had misplaced her Death Note - which is described as little more than a booklet or pamphlet - and a teacher found it. Flicked through, discovered the names and raised the alarm. All they needed to do then was identify who owned the prop.
They evidently knew enough about Death Note to link the item with the student in Light Yagami cosplay.
She got in trouble over coming as Kira (well, as Kira WITH notebook) and was told not to mention the forthcoming discipline to anyone. However, being a pre-teen and probably chaffing under the absurdity of the situation, she 'vented' to a male schoolmate - whose name was also on the list.
He freaked out and phoned his parents, one of whom came to the school to 'voice their concerns'.
Next thing you know, a local sheriff had also arrived at the school - possibly called in by the parent - to investigate the threat. One report says she was charged with 'inducing panic'; another says no charges were filed at all.
Nevertheless a three day suspension from school it was, and the rest of the world rolls its eyes with utter incredulity.