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Lice Dispute Comes To A Head
WOWT.com - Posted: 6:09 PM Apr 16, 2008
Last Updated: 7:31 PM Apr 16, 2008
Email Address: sixonline@wowt.com

A Council Bluffs family says an outbreak of head lice could have been avoided if their school had different policies.

"We constantly get the letters." Every month since school started, this family has received letters from Pusey Elementary School alerting them one of their three children’s classes was hit with head lice.

“I knew sooner or later we would get it, but we've been hit twice in two months,” says mom Tati Paca.

It means a lot of time and money gone. “We've had dry cleaning expense, all of our comforters, washing everything, time off of work if needed," says dad Chris Berka.

"Put things in bags and you have to vacuum and spray," says Tati.

They're frustrated. "It doesn't help when the Health Department says it's just a nuisance, it doesn't carry any germs or diseases and the school’s saying education comes first,” says Tati.

According to school policy, it's up to the principal whether to send a child with head lice home. "When they are still in school, they try and use the Robi Comb to help take care of some of those live lice," says Student Services Supervisor Lynn Schultz.

School officials say they're doing their part to prevent the spread of lice. One precaution is having all students put their book bags and coats in plastic bags. Officials say they can only do so much at school. They depend on parents.

"We have found doing the all-classroom checks don't really help prevent the spread of lice as far as checking ever single kid and taking time out of their educational day to do that,” says Schultz. “We really are partnering with parents and asking parents to do weekly checks with their children at home."

Until the lice problem goes away, that's just what this family will continue to do. "Just keep rechecking and that's what we've been doing," says Tati.

The Council Bluffs School District tells Channel 6 News this year has been about average as far as head lice cases. The Iowa Health Department does offer free lice kits for those who qualify.