Since August, 14 (thirteen girls and one probably-involved-in-theater boy) students at LeRoy Junior-Senior High School have come down with Tourette’s-like symptoms, prompting wild speculation as to the cause: HPV vaccinations, fracking, planking, Bieber-fever, an infection caused by an interaction between T. Jacobitis and T. Edwardella, witchcraft, or just plain old teenage girl attention-seeking (I bet we can totes get that bitch Becky to think she has Tourette’s!).
But a doctor treating the students disagrees with these assessments; he believes that it’s just another case of the Wandering Uterii (except for the boy–but he’s probably faking it for attention, anyway): that’s right, classic mass hysteria.
The parents, smelling a lawsuit (and thus money to finance college and/or refinish the kitchen), are not satisfied with an explanation that doesn’t include the possibility of a lawsuit; no, they believe there might be industrial poison involved:
“Obviously all of us are not accepting that this is just a stress thing, and our kids didn’t all get sick by coincidence,” one father said.
Indeed, others concur with that assessment; even celebrity pH-strip tester Erin Brockovich showed up to investigate. Sadly, she was turned away by the school (sources cannot confirm that it was for a dress code violation).
The most famous instances of mass hysteria in the United States are still the events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials (also, Black Friday Wal-Mart sales), which (no pun intended) left several women dead at the hands of dickish Puritans. Mass hysteria seems to affect women more than men; so much so that gender is used in the diagnosis (typical medical patriarchy).
While the cause for this event in upstate New York is currently unknown, it’s probably not because these girls all watched The Craft on TBS one afternoon and succeeded at playing “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” thus summoning Azazel from the depths of Hell. But maybe it is. I wouldn’t want to rule anything out.