Last May, KHON2 reported the Department of Health’s recommendation to schools, saying in part that after parents are notified of their child having head lice, their child can stay in school.
The Department of Education says there’s currently no policy on how schools are told to deal with a student with head lice. The DOE says how each situation is dealt with is still up to the school.
KHON2 was told that some schools are conducting educational programs to teach students how to deal with lice, and that these programs have been seeing results.
The Department of Health followed the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses, who all said students with head lice can go back to class after parents are notified.
It’s then up to the parents to either pick their child up or let them stay in school, which is exactly what many schools do.
A teacher at Wheeler Elementary School says she had a student come to class with head lice for an extended period of time.
“I would send her to the health nurse, who would pick the nits and the live bugs out of her hair. It took about an hour to an hour and a half each day, and this went on for about two months because the policy is we cannot send the students home,” she said.
The Department of Health says some schools are beginning to offer educational programs, teaching children about lice and how to avoid them.
According to officials, research has shown sending students home does not decrease the spread of lice.
Teachers though say the presence of a child with head lice in class can have far-reaching effects.
The teachers union is taking the position that students be sent home if they have ukus.