Tyler ISD announces policy change allowing students with lice to remain in school

Tyler ISD Announces Policy Change Allowing Students with Lice to Remain in School

In a decision that no doubt will have some parents scratching their heads, Tyler ISD announced today that students with head lice will no longer have to miss school.  

"Lice is a nuisance, but there's absolutely no health risk," District Coordinator of Health Services for TISD Cindy Fancher said. 

The policy change comes on the heels of new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Academy of Pediatrics and The National Association of School Nurses -- who all say kids with lice don't need to be sent home.

"There is no reason to stigmatize a child, and there still is the fear of lice," Fancher said, "so if a child is known to have head lice or cooties, they can get teased, they can get isolated."

Owen's Elementary School PTA President Sarina Hager -- who is on the Tyler ISD School Health Advisory Committee -- admits she had concerns about the policy change at first, but now says the new policy is a win-win for schools, students and parents.

"It [the policy] does place some of the burden on the school to manage lice cases, so that when children return to school after treatment, the nurse has an obligation to check their head once a week -- and actually for two weeks -- until she is satisfied that the lice is under control," she said.

Outraged parents took to the CBS19 Facebook page to voice their concerns about the new policy, but school officials say they don't expect to see a spike in lice cases.

"We're not putting kids at risk," Fancher said. "We're not going to increase the spread of lice by this new policy."

Contrary to popular belief, the CDC says lice can't hop or fly and are most commonly spread by person-to-person contact. 

To be safe, you should encourage your kids not to share hairbrushes, hats or scarves.

Tyler ISD officials say parents can call them with any questions or concerns.



 
 


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