Hayden Long, a 16-year-old sophomore student at a high school in Ohio, took his own life after reportedly enduring verbal attacks from school officials after being accused of "smelling like" weed. Following Long's tragic passing, his friend and classmate Hank Sigel wrote an open letter placing the bulk of the blame on those school officials and local police. Sigel recounts that administrators told Hayden he had "ruined his life" by smoking weed, adding that he and other students "would fail their classes" and had made the "biggest mistake of their life."

Sigel and Long were reportedly among six teenagers, described as honor students and athletes, accused of smoking weed before a school dance. The students were then interrogated by two Geneva High School administrators and one off-duty police officer, according to Raw Story. Sigel's open letter, which was widely shared across social media, tells the story of a very misguided and downright maddening approach to discipline:

Though the family reportedly issued their own statement through Geneva High saying they did not blame school officials for their son's suicide, according to KFOR, other students and thousands of people across social media very much disagree. In fact, a widely shared petition is currently asking Geneva and other schools across the country to recognize this incident as entirely preventable.

For what it's worth (it's worth quite a bit in this instance), marijuana consumption most certainly does not ruin lives or academic careers. In fact, recent studies show that smoking weed as a teenager likely has no negative side effects.

Rest in peace, Hayden Long.