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Families Receive Settlement After Teens Died From Hypnosis by High School Principal

Three families are each receiving $200,000 from the Sarasota County School District in Florida. According to the Herald Tribune their children died after being hypnotized by North Port High School Principal George Kenney.

The case began in April 2011 after Kenney admitted to hypnotizing 16-year-old Wesley McKinley, who died by suicide the next day. Two other students, 16-year-old Marcus Freeman and 17-year-old Brittany Palumbo, also died after being hypnotized by Kenney. Freeman died in a car crash, and Palumbo committed suicide.

Further investigation revealed that Kenney had hypnotized up to 75 students and teachers. There was no criminal link between his hypnosis sessions and the teens' deaths, but he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of practicing therapeutic hypnosis without a license. ABC News reports Kenney spent a year on probation and gave up his teaching license.

The families' lawyer, Damian Mallard, says that the families are still unhappy with the lack of reprimand made against Kenney. They are still grieving and believe his hypnosis sessions to be unauthorized medical practice.

"It's something they will never get over," Mallard told Huffington Post. "It's probably the worst loss that can happen to a parent is to lose a child, especially needlessly because you had someone who decided to perform medical services on kids without a license."

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