The principle is charged with unlicensed practice of hypnosis, which has a maximum sentence of one year in jail, but I was curious as to whether or not hypnosis could have really led to the student's suicide. Chapter 5 provides some definite insight into this issue, and it debunks 6 myths largely associated with hypnosis.
Hypnosis does not produce a "trance state" in which a person will do anything they are told. This is seen especially during staged hypnosis shows, however a person is able to resist and oppose hypnotic suggestions. This myth alone suggests that the principle had no influence over the student because he had hypnotized her. Another myth is that people under hypnosis are in a sleeplike state, however studies show that brain waves are not the same as when someone is actually sleeping. One interesting fact is that people are fully aware of their surroundings, and can recall the same details they would be able to under normal conditions; their memory is not improved. While hypnosis can increase the amount of information a person can recall, much of it is inaccurate because they become confident in both real and false memories. In fact, courts in the US have banned testimonies from hypnotized witnesses because of this reason. It would appear that in considering the many misconceptions regarding hypnosis, I doubt that the principle had any hand in the death of one of his students, however is high school really a place to be practicing hypnosis?