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Itching Outbreak At Cameron School Caused By Student Prank Or Chemical Reaction?

By Anna Deem in News on Mar 12, 2011 7:30PM

Photo by: pinkmoose
What started as two children complaining about itching on their arms on Wednesday during a pep rally at Cameron School, 1234 N. Monticello, eventually turned into an itching outbreak that sent 31 kids to local hospitals. Many had to be stripped naked and scrubbed down by workers, who protected themselves from being contaminated by wearing hazardous-material suits and respirator masks. Chicago Public School officials are still investigating whether the itching is a result of a student prank or a chemical reaction.

"Mommy, that was the worst thing that ever happened to me," a fifth-grader said to her mother after the haz-mat scrub down via the Chicago Sun-Times. Hospital officials said that the haz-mat procedure was necessary because the children showed signs of "some kind of chemical exposure."

"I don't think it was a prank," said one parent who asked to remain anonymous, to the Sun-Times. "I think it was something on the chairs because most kids got it on their arms. Some cheerleaders wearing skirts got it on the back of their legs."