Students refuse to return to school after ‘mass hysteria’

STUDENTS of Fr. Gratian Murray Integrated School in Barangay Granada, Bacolod City were advised to go home, after some female students collapsed due to alleged exorcism or hysteria on Tuesday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino photo)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Classes at Fr. Gratian Murray Integrated School in Barangay Granada here resumed on July 10, 2019 but students did not report following the alleged “possession” or “mass hysteria” that affected some female students since Monday afternoon.

In a text message to the Daily Guardian yesterday, school head teacher Ariel Sablaon said they did not suspend the classes yesterday but parents opted not to send their children to school.

Late Monday afternoon, a Grade 8 student collapsed inside a classroom building located at the back of the school. Her three other classmates also suffered the same experience for still unknown reasons.

It was followed by another incident on Tuesday morning while some of them were praying a rosary at a field near a big tree. All of them were brought to a clinic and a chapel.

The priest who responded to the incident dismissed reports that the incidents were cases of “possessions.”

Dr. Joeanne Marie Jomalesa, psychologist III of City Health Office-Mental Health Division, earlier said it could be a case of mass hysteria, a condition affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness, but their assessment continues to determine the real condition of the students.

More than 10 female students from Grade 8 and 9 were initially reported to have suffered the alleged “possession.” But, Sablaon said yesterday that only five underwent psychological and spiritual intervention.

These students, accompanied by their parents and some teachers met, yesterday in a certain place to talk to a priest and a psychologist about what happened, Sablaon said.

“We also want to find out the diagnosis of the affected students from the psychologist and spiritual experts,” he added.

Despite the student’s no-show, Sablaon said teachers still went to school yesterday. He is hoping that students will return to school and classes will be back to normal in the coming days.