By Hannah Curran, Editor
TRUSSVILLE — A Hewitt-Trussville High School student has been suspended after terroristic threats were made on Friday, Sept. 16.
According to Trussville Police Department (TPD) Chief Eric Rush, TPD was investigating the threat when they were notified that, last school year, the same student had created a “death notebook” containing 37 names.
“During that investigation, we were informed that the same student was found with a death notebook in their possession last year,” Rush said. “We were not notified last year of the incident.”
A parent source said that five students whose names were written in the book had specific methods of their death. The parent said that one of the methods was “shot by an AK-47.”
Rush said that the student responsible for the “death notebook” created it based on the show “Death Note,” where a character discovers a book that, if someone’s name is written in it while the writer imagines that person’s face, he or she will die.
The student has been reportedly suspended, according to the Rush. Concerned parents have informed The Tribune that the student was reportedly sent to alternative school for 20 days after a hearing was held with the school system on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Rush said TPD has notified all the parents of the students whose names were written in the book. The parents of the student responsible for the book were not notified when the original incident took place.
According to a memorandum of understanding passed by the Trussville City Council and Trussville City Schools in 2020, as soon as any incident that threatens school safety occurs on school property or occurs at a school-sponsored event, the SRO is to be notified as soon as is reasonably possible. The agreement further states that “TPD shall take the lead on all incidents in which a criminal charge or delinquent act is alleged to have occurred.”
“Chief Rush called me this morning to inform me of this situation,” TCS Superintendent Dr. Patti Neill stated. “We are working with Chief Rush and the TPD within our threat assessment protocols on a ‘Death Note’ copycat list. I used quotation marks because there is a series on Netflix called Death Note where a Japanese anime is used to depict a character who has magic ‘mind’ powers. This anime character has the power to kill others if he writes their names in a notebook and imagines their death. I was told today that a student wrote names of HTHS students, Biden, and Trump, and the student responded that his notebook was a fantasy notebook. Based on the TV show, the owner of the notebook has magic powers, and they could imagine a person getting hit by a bus, and it would happen; or imagine a person is eaten alive by ants and it would happen, or imagine that a person drowns and it happens, etc. You can find more information about what we’re dealing with by googling Anime Death Note and watch the trailer on Netflix.
“Trussville City Schools has a process in our Code of Conduct if there is a threat or a perceived threat. We are going through that process at this time with the Trussville Police Department. The police department and all of us are hypervigilant when it comes to school safety and we appreciate their help. Please know that our schools are safe, and we have outstanding SROs in every school.”