This Needs to Be a Movie: Hypnotist Principal

In 2011 at North Port High School in Florida (big surprise), principal George Kenney was going around hypnotizing students and staff alike. Kenney admitted to the hypnotisms earlier this year and the investigation that followed by the Sarasota County School District put the total number of hypnotism victims upwards of 75.

Among those hypnotized were 16-year-old Wesley McKinley who was hoping to improve his performance at an important Julliard audition, 17-year-old Brittany Palumbo who wanted to boost her SAT scores, and 16-year-old Marcus Freeman who needed help concentrating during football games, where he played quarterback.

All three of these students died within the year after being hypnotized by Kenney.

From the Herald Tribune:

“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 hanging outside his home less than a month later on April 8. His friend Thomas Lyle said in a deposition for the case that McKinley was hypnotized by Kenney at least three times, including on the day he died. McKinley wanted to do better with his guitar practice for his audition with the Julliard School of the Arts, Lyle said. When McKinley would get on the school bus after sessions, sometimes he wouldn’t know his name, Lyle said. McKinley would ask who his friends were. The same day McKinley died, he asked Lyle to punch him in the face, the records stated.”

Palumbo also died by hanging. Each of the three kids’ families is being awarded $200,000 by the school district to sort of make up for the loss of their children’s lives. It’s so deeply creepy. Kenney got out of the school administration game in 2012 and I guess runs a B&B in North Carolina now. Don’t stay there.

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