Of Lice & Men

My family has just concluded a three month battle with nits & we’re very concerned that in our school district, it takes three cases in a classroom before information is sent home. 
 
Our 8 year old son is in second grade in one of the elementary schools; with our 4 year old daughter enrolled in a day care center with a no lice policy, head lice is more than a nuisance, or something icky; it is disruptive (As in, getting a phone call at work to come & get her, because the next generation just hatched in her hair.) On November 7, day 2 of our battle, I went to the school nurse with my son & told her that we had an outbreak of head lice.  Without looking up from what she was writing, she asked if there were other kids in the house; I answered yes, our daughter was in day care; the nurse said that where they must have come from…and that was it.  I didn’t get the feeling that she jotted down “Mrs. G’s classroom, case #1”. Between November & mid-January, we fought nearly daily engagements – we “nuked” the kids’ heads twice, but after our son broke out in a rash, we suspended chemical attacks, and moved exclusively to picking each nit by hand. Finally, on January 22nd, after getting called yet again to come & get our daughter, we mounted our final assault. I called a professional nitpicker  & the wife talked with the principal & the school nurse. The nurse looked through our son’s hair & didn’t see anything. That evening the pro pulled half a dozen bugs off his head.  We bought an extra fine nit comb from the pro & for three weeks followed her daily regimen of combing cream rise out of every one’s hair. Finally, just before Valentine’s Day, we declared victory, and put away our nit comb.
 
We completely sympathized with the school principal when, looking at our son’s nitty head, she said “But there are 500 kids in this school!”  We understand that head lice do not pose a health risk.  We also understand that no nits/no lice policies can be misused. However, by the time there are three cases found in a classroom, the lice are entrenched on the high ground inside hardened bunkers.
 
Information. More than anything else, information is the most useful thing that the schools can provide. By letting us parents know that there is a case, a single case, of lice in the classroom, we have a chance of gaining the upper hand.

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