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Old 02-12-2013, 01:42 PM
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YoungTeacherGuy YoungTeacherGuy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,544
Vice Principal (K-5)

The school nurse comes once each month to check the kids for lice.

I had not one, not two, but THREE girls sent home immediately with live lice.

One of the girls has been sent home each time we have a monthly check for lice. The nurse said it's considered neglect at this point and she has no choice but to contact child protective services.

Mom seems like a great mom--very involved and supportive. The little girl always comes to school neat and clean. The nurse reminded me, however, that we're mandated reporters of abuse and/or neglect and that that these chronic bouts of lice fit the criteria for notifying CPS.

What do y'all think? I feel so sad--the little girl was crying and said, "Again???"
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:11 PM
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Amanda Amanda is offline
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Posts: 3,716
Former K/1 Teacher
I have mixed feelings about reporting her solely because of recurring lice. They can be hard to get rid of. Especially since she is clean and there are no signs of other problems. I've had kids with recurring lice and I think calling cps would only be a last resort and if there was obvious neglect.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:39 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Posts: 8,133
I do NOT agree with this.

We had lice a few times through no fault of our parents! We had several other children in the home who kept lice a problem despite Mom and Dad's best efforts. It would be similar to saying YOU are neglecting your students because they constantly have lice...your classroom environment must be a problem. When in fact, you can't help it if students are bringing it in.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:48 PM
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swansong1 swansong1 is offline
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Posts: 4,500
Disney country
Back in the saddle again!
I also don't agree with this. Lice are extremely difficult to get rid of, even in the cleanest of households. When my niece was about that age, she kept getting lice. The house was scrubbed every time, stuffed animals put in plastic bags, etc. We finally figured that she was getting the lice from the brush in her purse. We never even thought about that.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:42 PM
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chebrutta chebrutta is offline
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Land of Sunshine
MS Language Arts
And not to mention that she could be picking them up from a neighborhood playmate. I think its ridiculous in that situation to call cps.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:52 PM
Marylander Marylander is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 71
4th Grade Teacher
Has your school nurse done anything to help these families with their lice problems? I would hope that's the case before she reports them for neglect. Dealing with lice effectively can be a real problem because misconceptions abound. Sometimes even school nurses can have wrong ideas about treatments.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:29 PM
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donziejo donziejo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,082
The Deep South
Special Education Teacher
That doesn't sound right. In my former district lice were considered a pest. Kids didn't even need to be sent home! That was not popular with the teachers. However, we did have a school nurse that would visit the home if parents requested it. She used mayonaise to get rid of lice.

My 2 grandchildren had lice more than once in the same school year. My son and dIL were doing everything they could. Yet, the girls kept getting lice. They were also worried about using the chemicals to get rid of the lice. The school nurse came to their house and smothered the lice with mayonnaise.

There was no neglect. The girls had several more treatments (no lice, just treatments) during the rest of that year. No more lice.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:38 PM
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YoungTeacherGuy YoungTeacherGuy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,544
Vice Principal (K-5)
Here's what happens:

1. The nurse comes in, does head checks, and meets me outside.
2. She lets me know who has lice.
3. I send that student to the office.

Once I send the kid to the office, they don't return for a day or two. They can't return to class until the office calls me and lets me know that the student has been "cleared."

I have no clue what the nurse tells the parent. I pretty much feel left in the dark about the whole thing. I only assume that once they're sitting in class in again, they're fine.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:09 AM
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yellowdaisies yellowdaisies is online now
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,830
5th grade teacher
YIKES - CPS for lice?!

I came from a loving, supportive home where I was never anything close to neglected. My mom is a teacher. I had lice nearly every year of elementary school. It had nothing to do with how clean we were - we were always very clean, and so was our house! They just seemed to love me - every time the school had an outbreak, I would get them, no matter what precautions we tried to take.

It sounds like this little girl's family is not getting rid of them, but it's probably not a case of neglect. It's probably a case of not knowing how to get rid of those heinous little creatures! It's extremely likely that they're hidden somewhere in the family's belongings - brush, clothes, bedding, couch, rug, stuffed animals...the list is endless! - and that she keeps getting them again from that. Those bugs are resilient and SO HARD to get rid of! I remember having bouts of lice that would seem to go away but then another bug would pop up again! I think it usually took a couple of weeks before we KNEW they were gone. The lice shampoos did not work at all. I was in elementary school in the 90s - maybe those things are stronger now - but they were totally useless then. No, my mom had to sit for hours every night for over a week picking out individual bugs and nits and checking to make sure none had reappeared. It was horrible. I have thick hair which didn't help matters much. Then we had to bag up or wash every piece of fabric in the house. Those are the worst memories of my childhood....

I really feel for that poor little girl! There is such a stigma associated with having lice - it makes you feel dirty, and it's not your fault at all!

I feel in the dark about the lice procedure at my school too, since all communication with the parents goes through the nurse, not through me.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:25 AM
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Sarge Sarge is offline
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Working Class Teacher
Now you all made my head start itching.
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