A high school student from Ohio committed suicide after school administrators claimed he smelled like marijuana and told him he had "ruined his life," his friend's family claimed.
Hayden Long, 16, a sophomore (second year) student at Geneva High School, took his own life after Saturday's homecoming dance, reports New York Daily News.
His friend Hank Sigel penned an open letter about how school staff "verbally attacked" Hayden at the dance - and Hank's mum demanded the school "accept responsibility for this tragedy."
Hank said he was at the dance with Hayden and four friends when Principal Douglas Wetherholt, Assistant Principal Anthony Markijohn and a police officer pulled the group aside because they allegedly smelled like marijuana.
Grilled by staff
The school administrators and the officer grilled the teens, telling the students that they "would fail their classes, had ruined their academic careers, and had made the biggest mistake of their life," Hank said.
Hank said all six students were told they'd be suspended for 10 days and barred from participating in sports - a punishment inflicted "without any real evidence" other than the fact that they "smelled like marijuana."
Hayden committed suicide after the incident, Hank said.
Hayden's family rejected the Sigels' claims and thanked the Geneva school district for its support following her son's death.