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Teen blames school for friend’s suicide after turning weed bust ‘into a life-changing catastrophe’

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An Ohio teenager took his own life after school officials and police “verbally attacked” him for smelling like marijuana when they arrived at their homecoming dance.

Hayden Long, a 16-year-old sophomore quarterback, was found dead Monday at his home in Geneva, and his friend wrote a letter blaming the high school quarterback’s suicide on school administrators and police officers who repeatedly said his life was ruined over the infraction, reported WPMT-TV.

Hank Sigel, who admitted he also faced discipline over the pot accusations, posted the open letter online, where it was shared widely across social media.

He was among six teens, who he described as athletes and honor students, accused of smoking marijuana before the dance and questioned by two Geneva High School administrators and an off-duty police officer.

“I was exposed to some things that I would never want to see again when I was in the room where we were taken,” Siegel said in the letter. “We were questioned without our parents, and they forcibly took my keys and searched my car. When I stood up for myself and asked if they had the right to do this, I was told, ‘It’s cute you think you know your rights.’”

Sheriff William Johnson said Ohio law does not require parents to be present when questioning juveniles, and he pointed out that the school principal and an athletic coach were present.

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The sheriff said the teens admitted to smoking marijuana, and some of them had drug paraphernalia on them.

The teen said the students faced a two-week suspension from school, possible criminal charges, suspension from all sports and a loss of drivers’ licenses.

Principal Douglas Wetherholt, Assistant Principal Tony Markijohn and Geneva Police Officer Gonzalez verbally harangued the students, Sigel said — and he said the adults blew the infraction out of proportion to its actual severity.

“He was directly told that he had ruined his life by our school administrators, Sigel said. “The students were told that they would fail their classes, had ruined their academic careers and had made the biggest mistake of their lives. A minor event was turned into a life-changing catastrophe by these negligent and vicious men.”

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Sigel called for the administrators to be fired, saying “these are repeat offenders, and have been antagonizing and trying to bring our students down for years.”

The teen’s mother signed off on the letter, first apologizing to Long’s family if their efforts hurt them in any way — but she joined her son’s call for the administrators to be fired.

“The administration needs to accept responsibility for this tragedy,” said Heather Sigel. “Impressionable teenagers should not be treated like hardened criminals.”

Superintendent Eric Kujala called Long’s death “a shock,” and the school canceled its football game Friday and would have counselors on hand for students.

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Kujala said there were no plans for a memorial service, saying officials wanted to allow Long’s family to grieve privately.

The superintendent also said a petition calling for Wetherholt and Markijohn’s firing, which has drawn more than 4,500 signatures, complicated the school’s efforts to memorialize Long.

The school released a statement Tuesday saying that Long’s parents “in no way blame the school system and are offended that some others are speaking for them.”

Watch this video report posted online by WEWS-TV:

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quiet’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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