Change In Tulsa Public School's Head Lice
Head lice are a health issue most elementary schools have to
deal with just about every year. It's itchy, highly contagious
and a chore to get rid of.
Tulsa Public Schools has a new policy on head lice this year and
some parents are none to happy about it.
News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims says Heather Casebolt is just
about at her wit's end, over nits.
Her 5 year old daughter has had two bouts with head lice in a
month and a half. "It's very frustrating and itís hard on her.
She doesn't understand why I have to do this she gets upset
because I have to look through her hair, itís very stressful."
A nit is an egg of a head louse and itís in the middle of a
controversy over how schools handle head lice outbreaks. For
years, if you had lice or nits, you were sent home from school.
And you didn't come back until you were lice and nit free, but
recently the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National
Association of School Nurses have come out against no-nit
And Tulsa Public Schools changed its policy to only send kids
with live lice home. Tulsa Public Schools spokesperson Maia
Weaver: "that specifies that there is no medical reason to deny
a child attendance in school because of the presence of nits."
Experts say you can't catch nits; they're glued to the strands
of hair. The research says keeping kids with only nits out of
school doesn't affect the spread of head lice, but it does hurt
school attendance and student performance.
Tulsa Public Schools says it still checks heads three times a
year for lice and they keep a close eye on students with nits,
but Heather Casebolt was so upset, she passed out letters at her
daughter's school. "A live lice bug lays the eggs so they're has
to be a live on there to lay them in the first place."
Casebolt says her daughter's experience shows the new policy
isn't working. And she wants the district to go back to sending
kids with nits home.
Tulsa Public Schools reports that they have 143 more cases of
head lice then this time last year. The district insists they're
working with school nurses and parents to make sure kids with
active head lice are getting treated and not infecting other