WCSD new head lice policy states parents choose whether to send kids to school

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Updated: 3/18/2013 5:35 pm
UPDATE - 2:00PM - Washoe County School District says the policy began at the start of the school year in September.

According to Dana Balchunas, Director of Student Health Services, the procedure last year called for students with lice/nits to be excluded indefinitely from school until the lice/nits were gone. In some cases it led to some students being out for awhile. WCSD reviewed the policy and decided students shouldn’t miss any time from school due to head lice.

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Washoe County School District's policy on head lice states parents choose whether or not to send their children to school after the students are diagnosed with the parasites.

Dana Balchunas, Director of Student Health  Services said that last year's  procedure/policy called for students with  lice/nits to be excluded indefinitely  from school until the lice/nits were  all gone. In some cases it lead to some  students being out for a while  from school and after reviewing the  procedure/policy, the school district  decided that students shouldn't miss any  time from school.

According to Vicki Campbell with the Washoe  County School District, the new procedure/policy began at the start of the  school year in September.

The policy specifically states the following:

5.1.1 Students with identified head lice or nits may ride WCSD transportation, participate in all class room and educational activities, including field trips, and will not be isolated from their peers.

5.1.4 In cases where a student has a chronic and/or persistent case of head lice or nits, the school nurse will contact the parent directly and provide ongoing support, community referrals, resources, and education regarding treatment and control.

5.3.1 Teachers will be vigilant to symptoms of head lice and discreetly refer students with symptoms to the school health office for further assessment.

5.8.2 After the school nurse or trained clinical aide checks the student and if appropriate, the student’s siblings, the parent will be notified of the results.

5.9 Any parent of a student with lice or nits will be given the option of picking the student up from school prior to the end of the school day in order to begin immediate treatment at home.

5.10 The school nurse or trained clinical aide will recheck the student, and the student's siblings if appropriate, when the student returns to school.

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nvoillady - 8/29/2015 1:33 PM
0 Votes
My niece has been fighting a lice outbreak since her birthday in July. Her mother had her down to just nits and was still working on those when school started. Her mom called the school explaining she'd be out and why but she was told to bring her in so the school staff could determine the risk. They told her, upon "examination", that since it was just nits she was safe to go to school. Even though her mother continued the treatment to remove the nits they are now fighting a fresh outbreak because she couldn't keep her home. This is a stupid and careless policy that is going to cause more trouble than keeping the kids home a few extra days. It's stupid! No wonder there is an epidemic going on this year.

bsymom4 - 3/19/2013 10:10 AM
0 Votes
Yes lice dont jump but they crawl & attach to anything. Backpacks, jackets/coats & it's worse for the girls if they have longer hair, they actually prefer clean hair to dirty. Sounds like the WCSD is going to have a lawsuits on their hands unless they change this stupid policy. They will be known as the Lice school district. You can get at the movie theater, trying on hats & sunglasses at the store pretty much anywhere someone else had their head or something that touched thier head! Guess I better tell my child to watch out for the kids that are scratching their heads & keep his distance!

Paskahousu - 3/18/2013 10:29 PM
0 Votes
It is child neglect! I've seen some of the worse cases of head lice and the child will develop open sores! The child will have flesh and blood under it's nails, which is also a health risk to the other children! The school would be wise to change this pronto before they find themselves in a lawsuit. They have left themselves wide open for one.

Paskahousu - 3/18/2013 10:11 PM
0 Votes
Either send the kid home or start passing vouchers to pay for all the head lice and cleaning that MUST be done to get rid of it! If anything, by keeping the child at school, you have made it worse for the child because now.... it's being humiliated at school because they have lice! Good Lord... send the kid home! Why aren't the parents being looked at for neglect? Are you gonna wait till it bleeding from the scalp from itching to send the child home?

Eric97007 - 3/18/2013 4:11 PM
1 Vote
I work in the Washoe schools, this policy needs to be changed. I can not believe the admins would even change it.

boycott - 3/18/2013 12:59 PM
1 Vote
Unless you are on the school board, even then you may want to think this through a bit better, I don't see any parent who has ever gone through lice on themselves or child being in agreement with this. If they didn't spread then I don't think we would even be talking about them. The fact that some parents think the kids need to be intimate to catch these bugs shows how uneducated this community is. Yes, not sharing hats will help, but that is not how to stop the spread, quarantine and treatment is how, has been how and will always be, how it is done. Unless you are in Washoe County School District.

momof2 - 3/18/2013 12:50 PM
0 Votes
I am educated. I also had lice when I was in the 5th grade. I never shared anything because prevention was taught by my parents. How do you suppose I got them from the girl in my class who had them? I realize they are not an illness, but who wants to sit next to someone with bugs? This isn't about ignorance. It's about decency.

momof2 - 3/18/2013 12:46 PM
1 Vote
I am educated. I also had lice when I was in the 5th grade. I never shared anything because prevention was taught by my parents. How do you suppose I got them from the girl in my class who had them? I realize they are not an illness, but who wants to sit next to someone with bugs? This isn't about ignorance. It's about decency.

pvemt012 - 3/18/2013 12:32 PM
0 Votes
If you teach your kids not to share brushes ,hats ,jackets etc they would have a good chance of NOT getting lice. Prevention starts at home . Lice do not jump and prefer to stay on the hosts head.Look it up. Its also not an illness. Educate your self first before jumping to conclusions !

momof2 - 3/18/2013 12:29 PM
0 Votes
Since kids can't return for 72 hours after diarrhea, vomiting or even a fever for fear of spreading illness, it does not make sense at all for parents to be able to knowingly send kids to school with parasites that are easily transmitted. The school district needs to revisit this policy.

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