mother of six has declared war on the head lice scourge sweeping
who is also a foster mum, is sick of her children coming home
infested with the parasites.
Mrs Aston has vowed to fight for more funds for treatment and
checks and to scrap rules limiting teachers from checking students'
"It's in plague proportions," Mrs Aston said.
"I've spoken to literally hundreds of people and they all agree
there is a huge problem.
"The teachers I've spoken to have thrown their hands in the air
and said: 'Johnny's got nits. What can I do?' They're frustrated and
they feel it's out of control."
Mrs Aston, from Riddells Creek north of Melbourne, aims to
collect 2000 signatures calling on her council, Macedon Ranges, to
offer cheap lice treatment. And she is lobbying MPs to help overturn
state government rules restricting teachers from checking students
Victorian Primary Principals Association president Fred Ackerman
said rules issued in 2001 required schools to get written parental
permission before teachers check for lice.
But some parents do not give permission.
Mr Ackerman said council-employed "nit nurses" could check
students without permission, but they had gradually been phased out.
A Department of Education spokesman denied parental consent was
needed, saying it was a recommendation only.
"The introduction of the 2001 regulations do not prevent nit
checks from occurring," he said.
Mrs Aston said lice were rampant in schools, creches and
kindergartens, and children whose parents withheld permission were
"It's very sad for
the children because they become isolated," she said.
Mrs Aston said many parents were unable to afford the lice
treatment, and councils should supply it cheaply.
"For a lot of people, they find out on Monday their children have
head lice, but they don't get paid until Thursday, so during that
time their children infect other children," she said.