The story was first published by BruneiDirect.com in July 2005
Bandar Seri Begawan - A hysteria syndrome that began in an all-girl school in the capital last month continued yesterday with yet another hatch of 12 students showing signs of distress last morning as senior authorities rushed a statement to the press to assure parents and public that they were taking steps to bring the - situation under control.
The Sekolah Thinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri, STPRI closed again yesterday after the incident
In a statement the Ministry of Education said appropriate measures are taken to stabilise the situation plaguing the school.
Special emergency steps were mentioned as being issued as guidelines to teachers and students in the event of a recurrence.
Members of staff have been put in charge at various blocks of classrooms, and at assembly points for these classes designated, in case of emergency".
'Sembahyang Hajat' and recitation of the Al-Quran and the Surah Yassin are now conducted regularly as appropriate measures by the Ministry.
While finger pointing was a common reaction in incidents such as this, the more immediate need is to support the efforts undertaken by the school, advised the ministry.
The Ministry requested in its statement for the understanding and full support of parents and members of the public to work together so that teaching and learning can proceed with minimum interruption at the school.
Meanwhile, Borneo Bulletin Sunday hotline has been ringing non-stop with distraught parents inquiring about the situation.
Yesterday as students assembled in the hall for a scheduled religious talk as well as to recite the Surah Yaasin, some twelve students showed signs of hysteria gradually becoming uncontrollable.
The Sunday Bulletin at the scene to cover the planned religious talk was told by school staff manning the entrance that no one was allowed in.
They said only parents and guardians were allowed to go in as the mystery phenomena had struck the students again.
The parents were allowed in to the school compound to collect their children who were waiting for them as school closed earlier than schedule yesterday after the incident.
The Deputy Minister of Education Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad was scheduled to attend the talk.
"After the incident the talk was cancelled and the school was closed," staff said.
The school first experienced the mystery phenomena in July.
Even the young primary female students at Raja Isteri Fatimah Primary School showed symptoms of hysteria last week. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin