Florida Principal Investigated for Use of Hypnotism
North Port High School in Florida has dealt with several cases of loss this school year. Three students have died this school year with the most recent case resulting in the suspension of Principal George Kenney. 16-year old Wesley McKinley committed suicide one day after Kenney hypnotized him. Although the connection is not yet proven, the Florida school district has put Kenney on administrative lead while they investigate the situation.
Principal George Kenney has been a popular administrator at North Port High School since 2001. Despite his skill as a leader at the high school, Kenney possesses a unique talent; he is a certified hypnotist. Along with writing books and creating audio products, Kenney often shares the technique of hypnotism with students. Creating podcasts for reducing stress and preparing for tests are some of the ways Kenney has attempting to incorporate his skill with the North Port population.
Over recent years Kenney’s alternative counseling techniques have been accepted by parents and students at the school but the recent suicide of Wesley McKinley motivated school district officials to take a closer look. Prior to this investigation, the school district had given Kenney permission to use hypnosis in educational demonstrations in psychology classrooms, and in other situations only by parent permission. The focus of the recent inquiry will revolve around whether Kenney had been following the school districts guidelines, not whether or not the hypnosis lead to the suicide.
Kenney’s popular reputation is upholding the conclusion of many community members, teachers, parents and students that Kenney would not use hypnosis to aid in a student suicide. “He’s not the type of person who would try to harm any child,” explained Kenney’s former colleague Angie Mages.
Omni Hypnosis Training Center in DeLand, Florida is the training program which certified Kenney. The program reports requiring over 100 hours of training including instruction in all safety precautions.