"Poisoned" students had "collective psychosomatic reaction"
Students in an elementary school in Sajkas, northern Serbia, who fainted and reported symptoms suggesting they were poisoned, suffered from mass hysteria.Source: 021.rs
The Ministry of Education has officially announced that the incident earlier this month was the result of "collective unconscious psychosomatic reaction."
The conclusion is based on the results of the tests done by the Forensic Medicine Institute and the Institute for Public Health of Vojvodina, that ruled out contamination with toxins, chemical or biological substances.
Novi Sad-based website 021.rs is reporting Education Minister Srdjan Verbic as saying that "experts did their job, rejected all possible causes for the faintings that were specualted about," but that "a certain unease remains, because such situation never happened before," which, according to him, "leaves experts helpless."
In the past few weeks, neither the police nor the doctors were able to find a physical, chemical, or biological cause for the symptoms reported by 44 students.
But the website notes that "the fact is there is some information missing in the case," and specifies that since the doctors kept 20 children in the hospital, "they should know the reason why they did it."
A gym teacher at the Isidora Sekulic elementary believes that the children started fainting because of fatigue, so the school opened a debate about whether the curriculum was "too extensive and too stressful."
Minister Verbic was quoted as saying that "the right balance" was not struck between the time the students spent in school and their curriculum.
Since the school environment has been found to be safe, the students on Friday resumed attending classes.
It has also been announced that "the investigation will continue due to the parents' concern." The parents were, at the same time, given recommendations on how to handle "psychological crises."