First, one boy and one girl in an art classroom at Cameron Elementary in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood complained. They had itchy rashes on their arms, they reportedly told their teacher.
Then, more students started to complain of the symptoms. Suddenly, there were 31 kids scratching their skin.
The Chicago Tribune reports that administrators ended up calling five ambulances to the school at around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The afflicted students, fifth and sixth graders, were separated from the rest of the student body, and taken to area hospitals, while firefighters conducted HazMat tests on the building.
On examination of the complaining students, doctors found that it was nothing more than a severe case of gossip. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
[Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quentin] Curtis called their symptoms “psychosomatic.” One student complained of feeling itchy, and the word spread, he said. ...
“There’s no trauma, no injury, no trouble at all,” Curtis said.
The disruption took place during the ISATs, a week-long barrage of standardized tests that all Chicago Public Schools students are required to take.