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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 11:01 PM
Original message
Florida: North Port principal charged over use of hypnosis
Edited on Thu Jan-12-12 11:01 PM by madfloridian
It really does sound to me that the prosecutors may have problems getting charges to stick. The defense attorney says "the charges hang on whether he was providing therapeutic hypnosis."

He was hypnotizing them, he said, for "academic and athletic improvement."

He also diagnosed a resource officer with "Tourette's syndrome", and offered hypnosis as treatment.

This is a very odd story. I do not see how there is any way he could do all this legally. I do not see how they should have trouble making charges stick. He has now resigned, but they are still deciding the charges.

UPDATE: North Port principal charged over use of hypnosis

There is no question Kenney hypnotized students repeatedly without the supervision of a physician, Zimmerman said; but he said the charges hang on whether he was providing therapeutic hypnosis. "We are scrutinizing evidence to see if that was the case," Zimmerman said. He received the investigation from prosecutors just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

.."Prosecutors have filed two misdemeanor criminal charges against former North Port High School Principal George Kenney, saying his hypnosis sessions with students violated criminal health care laws. As a result, Kenney -- a popular principal who was reassigned during an investigation into his use of hypnosis -- will resign his job effective June 30, he said in a letter to the district.

The charges of unlicensed practice of hypnosis, filed Tuesday, carry a maximum of up to one year in jail. Prosecutors decided not to file charges of unlicensed practice of health care, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors will need to convince a jury that Kenney practiced "therapeutic" hypnosis without a proper license, which is against the law in Florida unless conducted by or under the monitoring of a licensed medical professional. Kenney took hypnosis training courses, but does not have a medical license.


This part is the kicker, bound to get attention whether related or not.

The hypnosis sessions first came to light after Kenney, 52, hypnotized Wesley McKinley, a student at the school who committed suicide in April. McKinley reportedly underwent three sessions, including on the day prior to his suicide. Experts say there is no proven link between hypnosis and suicide.


It's an odd write-up. First, it is illegal, no doubt. Secondly, it is drummed into the heads of teachers that you do NOT EVER diagnose or recommend treatment. Even mentioning opinions about a child and possible diagnoses puts a teacher at risk of being fired or marked down severely.

Another article from ABC News has a video and more on the topic.

Hypnotist Principal Faces One Year in Jail, If Guilty


A Florida high school principal faces two misdemanor charges for practicing therapeutic hypnosis without a license on students, three of whom have since died.

George Kenney, 51, was known to hypnotize students to help them achieve better test scores and peak athletic performance, despite being warned by his superiors to discontinue the practice. The popular principal allegedly defied those orders.

If convicted, the two misdemeanor charges could put the former principal behind bars for up to one year.

....Kenney's use of the practice came under scrutiny after Kenney acknowledged he had hypnotized Wesley McKinley, 16, the day before the teenager killed himself in April. Brittany Palumbo, 17, killed herself in May of last year, five months after her session. Marcus Freeman, 16, the school's star quarterback who was treated by Kenney, died in a car crash.


And to think I once got called on the carpet for even holding a conversation with a parent about options to consider for her child, newly diagnosed with a learning problem.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like a candidate for Sec of Ed
Controlling, clueless, and determined to get high test scores. Yep. arne's successor.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Ha ha nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-12 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. That's funny.
:)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-12 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. Plead "not guilty by reason of alliteration."
"Principal" "psychiatrist" and "primary care physician" all start with "p." Sooo easy to confuse them.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-12 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Heh heh
:hi:
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