Florida Principal Suspended After Hypnotizing Student Who Committed Suicide The Next Day
Dr George Kenney, a high school principal in Florida, hypnotized Wesley McKinley, a 16-year-old student, in his office. The next day the male student was found dead, the victim of an apparent suicide by means of drug overdose. Now Kenney has been suspended as police and the school board attempt to figure out whether the nontraditional treatment had anything to do with the death.
Besides being the principal at North Port High School in Sarasota County, Kenney was also a hypnosis enthusiasts who had written a book on the subject. Over the past two years he had put several students under hypnosis to help them improve academically or athletically.
The unorthodox treatment was never apparently questioned until Kenney hypnotized McKinley. The student told his principal he needed help focusing on school, and wanted to be more outgoing. Kenney had the boy's parents permission and had put the boy under hypnosis three times prior.
On April 8, the following day, McKinley was found dead in a vacant home close to the one where he lived. It's believed he committed suicide by means of a drug overdose.
Kenney was suspended after the boy's parents started questioning whether or not the hypnosis and suicide may have been related.
"Dr George Kenney has been an effective administrator in the Sarasota County School District for many years," a school board spokesman told The Daily Mail. "However, his use of techniques that are outside the scope of normally accepted student counselling practices is cause for serious concern."
Though, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that students at the school have started several protest groups on Facebook to show support for Kenney.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.