Classes were suspended Thursday at Isaac Lopez Integrated School in Mandaluyong City after around 20 students aged between 12 and 16 started acting strangely—screaming, crying, fainting and convulsing—prompting claims that they were possessed by evil spirits.
Julie Esparagoza, a Grade 8 teacher at the public school, said the incident started shortly after 9 a.m. and initially involved two girls from her section. She said that she and her students were in a classroom when one of the girls suddenly stood up and began acting strangely while the other lost consciousness.
Esparagoza added that the girl who stood up had to be restrained at one point since it looked like she was going to attack her unconscious classmate. She said she immediately brought the two girls to separate classrooms where their behavior gradually returned to normal.
Esparagoza, however, said she later observed the same behavior among her other students who had stepped out of the classroom for their break. According to her, she saw five girls and a boy “lying on the floor and shaking while others were crying frantically.”...
Esparagoza said the same behavior was observed in other Grade 8 students from five different sections. She added that she tried looking for a priest to help the affected students but the staff of two churches she called up told her that the priest was not available...
According to Editha Septimo, the officer in charge of the high school section, some of the affected students were taken to the principal’s office while the others were brought to a classroom where a doctor attended to them.
Septimo said she had no choice but to suspend classes in the Grade 8 level at 10 a.m. after parents started rushing to the school to get their children out of fear that they would also be possessed...However, as soon as the unaffected Grade 8 students were allowed to go home, at least four Grade 7 students began exhibiting the same behavior, Esparagoza said. This prompted Nerissa Lozaria, assistant schools division superintendent, to suspend classes in the entire school.
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