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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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“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.

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

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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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‘Um — he threatened to kill a dog’: Twitter reacts to Roger Stone’s trial judge mentioning that he ‘rescued countless dogs’

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As observers anxiously awaited news on the sentencing of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, reporters have been tweeting live updates on the developments in the courtroom, one of whom was Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff Swan.

"Jackson notes Stone's support for friends and relatives going through hard times," she tweeted, referring to U.S. District lawyer Amy Berman Jackson. "Adds: 'He’s rescued countless dogs and listened and came to the aid of many friends.'"

https://twitter.com/woodruffbets/status/1230539586083938304

The claim of the Stone's affinity for dogs prompted one Twitter user to point out that Stone apparently hasn't always applied that affinity evenly.

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There should be universal ‘dismay and disgust’ at Roger Stone’s actions: Judge Amy Berman Jackson

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson delivered quite the lecture to Trump ally Roger Stone during his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Shortly before sentencing the longtime right-wing dirty trickster, Jackson delivered a blistering condemnation of Stone's efforts to lie to investigators and intimidate witnesses, all to cover up the truth about his efforts to make contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.

"The defendant lied about a matter of great national and international significance," she said. "This is not campaign hijinks. This is not just Roger being Roger."

She also expressed astonishment that anyone would be calling for Stone to be pardoned despite being convicted on seven counts that included perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. She also said that Stone's assault on the truth was "a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy."

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Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison

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Donald Trump's longtime aide Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday in a case that has caused a stir in Washington following meddling by the US president and his attorney general.

Stone received a sentence of 40 months in prison.

Stone, one of the Republican leader's allies and "oldest friends," was convicted in November of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to cheat in the 2016 election.

Just 10 days ago, four US prosecutors asked a judge to sentence the former political consultant to between seven and nine years in jail. Trump chimed in via his favorite method of communication -- Twitter -- to denounce what he called a "miscarriage of justice."

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