DURHAM -- If Joyce Taylor's daughter gets head lice one more time, she'll have to cut her long hair.
The parent of twin girls who attend C.F. Cannon Public School in Oshawa, Mrs. Taylor says she is tired of her children coming home with head lice.
"Last year we had this problem too," said Mrs. Taylor, who recently pulled her children temporarily out of school because of lice.
"If they get it again, I am not going to send them back, they'll have to be bused to another (school)," said Mrs. Taylor.
But the problem is no worse at C.F. Cannon than at any other school, said Mark Joel, a superintendent for the Durham District School Board.
"Every year at this time we have the exact same problem," said Mr. Joel. He added he's been involved in education for 30 years and lice is always an issue.
"Nits are seen to be an annoyance, not a hazard," he said. "Our primary objective (as a school board) is not to check people for head lice."
Mr. Joel said when a student is discovered to have lice, they are sent home and so is a notice to other parents, informing them of the situation. The parent of the infected student is responsible for treatment and confirming it has been completed before their child re-enters class.
"This really is a parental responsibility," said Mr. Joel.
Adding to Mrs. Taylor's upset was school board policy that allows students back in class even if their hair has been treated for lice and still has nits.
"What is wrong today; why are they so relaxed about this?" asked Mrs. Taylor.
Mr. Joel said it's assumed those nits are dead if the lice have been treated.
If parents can't afford lice treatment, the board can help them find a way, he added.
According to a Durham Region health department fact sheet, students are more likely to get head lice than adults because they have more head-to-head contact with others. An itchy head and scratch marks on the neck and scalp are indications of lice.