Parents say principal using hypnotism caused student's deaths

Parents blame principal hypnotizing students

SARASOTA, Fla. - "Shame on you for messing with my son's mind," said Dana Freeman in a press conference outside of Mallard Law Firm in Sarasota Wednesday morning.

Dana Freeman is suing the Sarasota School Board over the death of her son Marcus.

Her lawsuit claims the high school athlete learned self hypnotism from former North Port High School principal George Kenney in an attempt to deal with pain. While using that training when driving home from a dentist appointment, the boy fell into a hypnotic trance, crashed and died.

"He had his whole life ahead of him," she said.

According to another lawsuit, another student, Wesley McKinley, was also treated with hypnotism by Principal Kenney. The teen who dreamed of attending Julliard Music School committed suicide.
"He was just a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful child," said his mother Margaret McKinley.

Brittany Palumbo's parents are also suing the school board.  They said their daughter was also treated by Kenney, and less than 24 hours after finishing college applications, she killed herself.
"There' s no reason that we can find anywhere that this should have happened," said her mother Patricia Palumbo.

The families are asking for more than $15,000 each in damages, because they believe the school district did not do it's job, making sure their kids were safe.
"The school board failed all of the children because they did not enforce what they knew was happening.  And they knew it was against their protocol," said Margaret McKinley.

The Sarasota County School Board responded saying:  "The superintendent and administration of the Sarasota County School District are sympathetic to the suffering of the families in North Port over the deaths of their children. We do not believe, however, that the actions of either the School Board or any of its employees caused these tragic events to occur."
The parents said they don't want this to happen to any other family. 

"I would hate to think that any of our children died in vain.  That their deaths weren't used to better the future for everyone's children," said Paul Freeman.

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