This is something out of a horror movie — but sadly it’s real life.
Earlier this year, North Port High School Principal George Kenney admitted that he had hypnotized 16-year-old Wesley McKinley in April of 2011 — only a day before the teenager committed suicide.
After the admission, an investigation took place that found he had hypnotized at least 75 people at the school — including staff and students!
Shockingly, these hypnotism “lessons” led to three deaths.
17-year-old Brittany Palumbo and 16-year-old Marcus Freeman also died after undergoing hypnosis. Palumbo committed suicide and Freeman was in a car accident after apparently self-hypnotizing — something his principal taught him.
├óΓé¼ΓÇ╣Now the Florida school district has agreed to pay a $600,000 settlement split between the families of the teenagers.
Damian Mallard, the attorney for the families affected, said that the parents didn’t sue for money but rather wanted to hold the school district accountable and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
He said in a statement
“It’s something they will never get over. It’s probably the worst loss that can happen to a parent is to lose a child, especially needlessly because you had someone who decided to perform medical services on kids without a license. He altered the underdeveloped brains of teenagers, and they all ended up dead because of it.”
The families weren’t able to sue Kenney directly because he’s considered an extension of the School Board under the law. As a result of the controversy, however, the former principal was put on administrative leave in May of 2011 and resigned in 2012.
He was ultimately charged with two misdemeanors in 2012 — one of which was practicing therapeutic hypnosis without a license. He quickly entered a plea of no contest and was forced to serve one year of probation.
Kenney then gave up his teaching license due to pressure from the Florida Department of Education. He now lives in a bed-and-breakfast and makes stained glass.
The affected families aren’t too happy with this outcome; their attorney states:
“The thing that is the most disappointing to them is he never apologized, never admitted wrongdoing and is now living comfortably in retirement in North Carolina with his pension.”
This is absolutely awful!
We know if we lost a loved one due to an authority figure’s carelessness, we would not be OK with him getting away with a slap on the wrist.
But the thing that really has our brains cooked is how exactly being under hypnosis led these teens to die! Scary stuff.
What do YOU think??
[Image via WTFS TV.]