SARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA — This week, a Florida school district has shelled out $600,000 to the families of three students who died four years ago after a high school principal conducted bizarre hypnotherapy on them.
Four years after the tragic suicide of a student at North Port High, Principal George Kenney has admitted to hypnotizing 16-year-old Wesley McKinley the day before he killed himself.
The district has now revealed that Kenney hypnotized at least 75 students and staff members at his high school in 2011, McKinley being one of them. McKinley had hoped that the private hypnotherapy sessions would help him prepare for his audition for Juilliard. Another student, 17-year-old Brittany Palumbo underwent hypnotherapy because she wanted to raise her SAT scores. Both hanged themselves that year independently of one another.
Sixteen-year-old quarterback Marcus Freeman was another “patient” of the unlicensed hypnotherapist. One day in 2011, Freeman veered his car off on an interstate with his girlfriend in the passenger seat. The girlfriend survived, Freeman was not so lucky.
Kenney resigned in 2012 after admitting to hypnotizing students and he now reportedly runs a bed-and-breakfast in North Carolina.
Kenney was charged with two misdemeanors in 2012 and has served one year of probation but he has avoided jail time. Grieving families are forced to find solace in the fact that at least he can no longer practice hypnotherapy.-TN