The case of the Florida teen deaths has brought hypnosis into the spotlight. A great deal of controversy has been stirred up as a result of this principal’s actions. To bring some clarity to this issue I am including a link to an editorial written by Dr. John Butler, President, American Council of Hypnotist Examiners
Their grief and loss deserve our compassion. In addition to their bereavement, they also have the additional burden of wondering if their children were placed at unnecessary risk, in a setting which is intended for their protection and care – their school.
The laws governing the conduct of teachers are very strict, and rightly so. The rules are quite clear on this – any extra-curricular activity which takes place on school premises, or under school’s authority, needs to have specific parental permission and also the approval of the school Board.
The existing rules for the protection of children do not need to be changed – the problem lies in the fact that in this case, they were not enforced. There is no evidence that hypnosis contributed to the deaths of either of the two young people who committed suicide – but to grieving parents, doubt as to causes and precipitating factors is a terrible burden to bear. After every suicide, relatives are likely to ask themselves over and over – was there anything that could have been done differently, that would have changed the outcome? Where there has been clear disregard for the boundaries set in place for children’s protection, then parents have an additional burden to bear in this respect.