Fla. Principal Investigated After Students' Suicide

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A high school principal in Florida is under investigation for using hypnosis on his students after two of the students he hypnotized committed suicide.

A school official says George Kenney, 51-year-old former principal of North Port High School in Sarasota, did not comply when he was told to limit his hypnotism to a psychology class.

The case has left some in the Sarasota County School District to speculate that there's a possible connection to the students' deaths.

"We have a story here that involves students, a principle, suicide and hypnosis. Because two events occur does not mean that one caused the other," said Mark Zimmerman, Kenney's attorney.

"Hypnosis creates conditions for relaxation so that the hypnotist can guide a student. So you have a lot of influence, authority, and responsibility," explained Dr. Michael Welner, professor of psychiatry at New York University's School of Medicine.

No criminal charges have been filed against Kenny. He says he used hypnosis to motivate students to focus on school.

Kenney is on leave and assigned to an administrative job while a police investigation proceeds.

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