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bananas

(27,509 posts)
Wed Oct 7, 2015, 07:22 PM Oct 2015

Families Of Teens Who Died After Hypnosis By Principal Will Get $600,000

Source: Huffington Post

The Sarasota County School District in Florida has agreed to pay $200,000 to each of three families whose teens died after a principal hypnotized them.

It's the end to a bizarre case that started in April 2011, when North Port High School Principal George Kenney admitted that he hypnotized 16-year-old Wesley McKinley. The teen died by suicide a day later.

A subsequent investigation found Kenney had hypnotized up to 75 students and staff at the school for various reasons, according to the Herald-Tribune. Two of those students were Marcus Freeman, 16, and Brittany Palumbo, 17. They both died earlier that year, Freeman in a car crash and Palumbo by suicide.

<snip>

The Herald-Tribune reports on Freeman:

Kenney hypnotized Freeman, a quarterback for the North Port High football team, to help him concentrate and not worry about pain during games, according to court documents. Kenney began to teach Freeman how to hypnotize himself.

After a painful dentist visit on March 15, 2011, Freeman drove home with his girlfriend. His girlfriend said that during the ride Freeman got a strange look on his face and veered off of Interstate 75 near Toledo Blade Boulevard. Freeman later died from his injuries; his girlfriend survived.


McKinley was found dead in his room on April 8, and his roommate said that he'd been hypnotized by Kenney at least three times, including the day of the suicide.

According to the Herald-Tribune, Palumbo's parents said Kenney diagnosed her with anxiety and hypnotized her to help improve her SAT scores. Her parents said she died by suicide not long after finishing her college applications, according to ABC Action News.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/teens-died-after-principals-hypnotism_56156093e4b0fad1591a6f04
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Families Of Teens Who Died After Hypnosis By Principal Will Get $600,000 (Original Post) bananas Oct 2015 OP
WTF? salib Oct 2015 #1
I second that. WTF? nt valerief Oct 2015 #7
Fla. school settles bizarre lawsuit over hypnotized students, suicides bananas Oct 2015 #2
What bullshit.... Punkingal Oct 2015 #3
True enough. But I think a principal should know to recommend the kids to a specialist ... eppur_se_muova Oct 2015 #4
Don't disagree with that.... Punkingal Oct 2015 #5
It can. A suggestion of when you see lights in front of you imagine you are on a peaceful beach. LiberalArkie Oct 2015 #8
No.... Punkingal Oct 2015 #10
I agree, you can hypnotize someone to kill themselves, but you can have them imagine something LiberalArkie Oct 2015 #11
No, but it is a technique used by some professional therapists to treat patients. ohnoyoudidnt Oct 2015 #18
He should not have been playing with hypnosis.... Punkingal Oct 2015 #19
My understanding he was told not to do it but did it anyway on a large number of people. LisaL Oct 2015 #20
Then it may have not been a direct cause, but playing therapist instead of referring them ohnoyoudidnt Oct 2015 #22
I agree with that completely. Punkingal Oct 2015 #23
He wasn't licensed to practice hypnosis. LisaL Oct 2015 #21
There is no such license in most states. Punkingal Oct 2015 #24
weird even by Florida standards.... dhill926 Oct 2015 #6
Some more info on how hypnosis affected these kids. bananas Oct 2015 #9
I think this excerpt shows what the real problem here was. Frank Cannon Oct 2015 #15
So two committed suicide after intense stress, and one was in a car crash? Orrex Oct 2015 #12
Yeh..."a scapegoat". CanSocDem Oct 2015 #16
WTF? Sounds like a bad LifetimeChannel Movie plotů MrScorpio Oct 2015 #13
Hypnosis is bunk and this should be thrown out; may as well claim he killed them by telepathy frizzled Oct 2015 #14
Hypnosis is not bunk if a professional is using it.... Punkingal Oct 2015 #17

bananas

(27,509 posts)
2. Fla. school settles bizarre lawsuit over hypnotized students, suicides
Wed Oct 7, 2015, 07:39 PM
Oct 2015
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/settlement-over-3-deaths-florida-high-school-principal-hypnotized-students/

AP October 7, 2015, 3:35 PM

Fla. school settles bizarre lawsuit over hypnotized students, suicides

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- The families of three high school students who died after being hypnotized by a former principal will receive $200,000 each from the Sarasota County School District under a settlement agreement unanimously approved by the School Board on Tuesday.

The Herald-Tribune reports that the $600,000 settlement closes a bizarre, yearslong case that began after former North Port High School Principal George Kenney admitted that he hypnotized 16-year-old Wesley McKinley a day before the teenager killed himself in April 2011.

A subsequent investigation found that Kenney hypnotized as many as 75 students, staff members and others from 2006 until McKinley's death. One basketball player at the school said Kenney hypnotized him 30 to 40 times to improve his concentration.

Among those who were hypnotized were 17-year-old Brittany Palumbo and 16-year-old Marcus Freeman. Palumbo killed herself in 2011. Freeman was in a fatal car crash after apparently self-hypnotizing, a technique Kenney taught the teenager, also in 2011.

<snip>


eppur_se_muova

(36,572 posts)
4. True enough. But I think a principal should know to recommend the kids to a specialist ...
Wed Oct 7, 2015, 07:47 PM
Oct 2015

DIY therapy can be dangerous.

LiberalArkie

(15,857 posts)
11. I agree, you can hypnotize someone to kill themselves, but you can have them imagine something
Wed Oct 7, 2015, 09:57 PM
Oct 2015

that is not there. I have seen a baseball player only swing at the ball when he heard a ball hit the catchers mitt. He never saw the ball flying towards him or maybe the suggestion through his timing off. But the suggestion was to swing at the ball when he heard it hit the mitt. And that he did. Can someone be hypnotized to think that lights coming at him in the dark are someone to be avoided at all costs? Thus someone makes a hard turn at night when he sees car lights coming at him. I don't know.

ohnoyoudidnt

(1,858 posts)
18. No, but it is a technique used by some professional therapists to treat patients.
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 01:24 PM
Oct 2015

I doubt this principal was a professional and probably used things he learned from the Internet or a couple books. 3 deaths out of 75 people is very statistically high. The one who committed suicide should have been seeing a professional. The principal could have given her really bad advice on thought processes, that a professional could have helped.

He could have taught them to use certain mental exercises in certain situations, that if they had not done would not have resulted in tragedy.

Something went wrong here, and I doubt his sessions had nothing to do with any of these unfortunate deaths.

Punkingal

(9,522 posts)
19. He should not have been playing with hypnosis....
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 01:42 PM
Oct 2015

I don't believe he did anything to cause their deaths, other than not letting a professional deal with them. I am a hypnotist myself, and I think the ones who committed suicide were expecting way too much from it, and had problems. You can assist people and teach them to use positive techniques to improve things, or to aid in conquering bad habits, but hypnosis is not all-powerful. If he perhaps misled them about expected results, that is terrible. As for the car accident victim, I don't believe it was related in any way.

ohnoyoudidnt

(1,858 posts)
22. Then it may have not been a direct cause, but playing therapist instead of referring them
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 02:16 PM
Oct 2015

to a professional puts some degree of blame on him, IMO.

Punkingal

(9,522 posts)
23. I agree with that completely.
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 03:02 PM
Oct 2015

I guess I am defending hypnosis more than I am him. I think he was probably trying to be helpful, however misguided that was.

Punkingal

(9,522 posts)
24. There is no such license in most states.
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 03:05 PM
Oct 2015

You can be a licensed therapist who does hypnosis, but just being licensed as a hypnotist isn't usually possible.

bananas

(27,509 posts)
9. Some more info on how hypnosis affected these kids.
Wed Oct 7, 2015, 09:35 PM
Oct 2015
http://www.inquisitr.com/2477118/florida-principal-hypnotized-three-students-who-all-died-shortly-later-school-agrees-to-pay-grieving-families-600000/

Florida Principal Hypnotized Three Students Who All Died Shortly After, School Agrees To Pay Grieving Families $600,000

Tara Dodrill
October 7, 2015

<snip>

On March 15, 2011, Freeman was driving back home from a painful visit to the dentist, and his girlfriend was in the car with him. Freeman was said to have appeared to be in a state of hypnosis when a “strange look” came over his face and he drove right off the interstate. The girlfriend survived the crash, but the North Port high football player later died from injuries sustained during the accident.

The following month, Wesley McKinley committed suicide by hanging himself. Thomas Lyle, a friend of McKinley’s, stated during a lawsuit deposition that McKinley had been hypnotized on at least three occasions to help him practice for his guitar audition for Juilliard. Lyle also maintained that sometimes after the hypnosis sessions with the principal, he would get on the school bus and not recognize his friends or even know his own name. On the day he killed himself, McKinley allegedly asked Lyle to punch him in the face.

Brittany Palumbo was hypnotized by Kenney to help her better concentrate in order to improve her SAT scores. When her test scores did not improve to the level she had wanted, Palumbo became depressed and killed herself in May, 2011.

<snip>

Frank Cannon

(7,570 posts)
15. I think this excerpt shows what the real problem here was.
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 05:53 AM
Oct 2015

It's not that these kids were hypnotized into doing crazy or self-destructive stuff. It's that they had serious other mental health issues going on that the principal took upon himself to "treat" through hypnosis. All these kids really just seem terribly depressed.

This whole thing is just bizarre.

Orrex

(63,525 posts)
12. So two committed suicide after intense stress, and one was in a car crash?
Wed Oct 7, 2015, 10:09 PM
Oct 2015

The principal sounds like a complete, inexcusable creep.

And a scapegoat.

MrScorpio

(73,646 posts)
13. WTF? Sounds like a bad LifetimeChannel Movie plotů
Thu Oct 8, 2015, 02:01 AM
Oct 2015

If the script isn't already in development, somebody's slacking.

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