UPDATE: Children Who Have Head Lice Will Stay in School Under Proposed Policy from MDUSD

May 13, 2014 23:46 pm · 149 comments


Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s (MDUSD) policy on head lice, which was adopted on August 24, 2004 is being revised to comply with the guidelines set forth by the California Department of Public Health in March 2012, according to the MDUSD.

At Wednesday night’s MDUSD school board meeting, the board will consider changing their current policy, which states that if a student possibly has head lice, they will be examined by the school nurse, as will their siblings who attend the same school, and if it’s confirmed that they have lice, they will be sent home and the parents/guardians will be given recommended treatment procedures.

The new policy is completely different. According to the MDUSD School Board agenda, head lice doesn’t pose a health risk, it’s not a sign of uncleanliness, and it’s not responsible for the spread of any disease.

The agenda further states that when a student is absent from school and identified as having head lice, it increases the risk of bullying. They say “archaic policies cause many unnecessary absences from school, and with potential negative effects on academic performance.”

If this new policy is passed, the agenda says “staff, students, and parents/guardians will be educated about head lice, the district will establish evidence based management for students with head lice, and they’d like to maximize academic performance and minimize absence due to unnecessary exclusion of students with head lice.”

To sum it up, under the new policy, if a student has head lice, the parents will be notified, and the student with head lice will stay in school and “not be isolated or otherwise be subjected to restrictions of his/her activities,” according to the district.

Wednesday night’s MDUSD school board meeting starts at 7:30pm, and is located in the School District Board Room – 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

UPDATE: The item has been taken off the agenda for an unknown reason.

We were looking at the full agenda researching other topics, and noticed the item about head lice was no longer on the agenda. We asked one board member, and he/she did confirm that it was taken off the agenda, but did not give a reason why.

We will update this post when we hear more.

101 mamatosix May 14, 2014 at 9:52 AM

KitCat I agree! They are set to lose more money because we will keep our kids home to prevent them from getting lice. Lice get into everything and can be so expensive to get rid of. Why the hell is this district and state so eager to get rid of personal responsibility? If your kid has lice keep them home and take care of it! It does not mean you or your kid are dirty it means you have a contagious infestation! Fix it.
Let me guess…. next it will be bring your bed bug infested pillows to school. Educated idiots. WTH?

102 As for my kids May 14, 2014 at 9:58 AM

If a kid in their class is allowed to stay in school with lice, I will keep my own child home to prevent them bringing it home with them. MDUSD gets more and more stupid.

103 jtkatec May 14, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Claycord is inundated with bedbugs and head lice.

104 stupidity May 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM

If my child is sent home from school for lice I will sue the district and win and they know this!!!! This is an important policy change. Parents cannot sue for kids having lice in school. The Public Dept of Health has already proven it poses no health risk so good luck with that one idiots.

105 Speak up! May 14, 2014 at 10:12 AM
106 Troll May 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Wonderful. Yet another reason not to send my “future” children to MDUSD. DO these morons running the school into the ground understand that head lice is indeed quite serious?

Here is all you need to know about the dangers of head lice.


Wake up MDUSD!

107 See Jane May 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Funding for schools is directly related to attendance. This has nothing to do with bullying, or anything else. It is all about money. Someone in accounting probably made a power point presentation outlining how much money is lost due to lice outbreaks. The people in charge look at web md and say, “Yeah, lice aren’t toxic. Make the kids go to school.” Hey, people in charge, maybe we don’t want lice, regardless of whether or not it is a health risk!

And by the way, If it is so difficult to get head lice, as Jess suggests, then why do so many children get it? Clearly, they get it at school. And if the lice are resistant to treatment, as Jess says, then how is sending the children to school after one treatment going to prevent the lice from being spread? I think Jess and MDUSD want the whole world infested. That is their end game.

108 #1mom May 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM


109 RanchgirlCA May 14, 2014 at 10:41 AM

That may be their policy, but as a parent I would never send my child to school with lice. I’d keep them home and get it taken care of. It’s all about the money.

110 Isabelle May 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Head lice! No way would I ever have my children go to a school infested with bugs, especially lice. I would sue the district if this ever happened!

111 JET May 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I’ll bet there is no lice at CVCHS…. everything there is perfect after all.

112 Itchybahnkahn May 14, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Great…next thing they’ll be teaching is how to pick nits off one another…way to be pro active MDUSD…not.

113 Cynic May 14, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Jess, quoting WebMD does not make you informed, just indoctrinated, The medical industrial complex hasn’t applied or practiced science for the last 20 years, and policies have changed from common sense practices to jackassery because of the BS notion of DISCRIMINATION???…If keeping a child home because they are INFECTED with a parasite that CAN be spread via indirect contact (despite what WebMD says…) is discrimination, we have crossed into the bizzarro world. You bleeding hearts that think this is discriminatory, and a child is being deprived or somehow damaged because they are not permitted to infect others, are absolutely destroying the fabric of a once sane society. California is the most back-assward place on the planet.

114 Shelly May 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Jtkatek; Hahahahahahahahahahaa!!!!! True.

115 Cynic May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Jess, I don’t know you, so this isn’t personal, but the mindset you bring to this debate blows me away. I associate that mindset with parents who place no boundaries on their kids, because they think they are giving them “freedom” and “fostering their individuality” when in reality, they are just becoming overindulged, spoiled brats. By the way, those are the kids that are usually the bullies, too, because there are no consequences at home. I may be off base, but after decades of observing this I chose to send my kids to private schools. That type of parenting still exists, but is much less prevalent in a more controlled environment. I know it sounds elitist, but I just cannot stomach the direction of public education. We are certainly not wealthy, and it is difficult to send out kids to private school, but there is very little that I would not do to be able to afford it. This type of stuff from the district just reconfirms my commitment to avoiding MDUSD schools at all costs.

116 Suzie May 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM

With something like this, I always think about the Dr and his wisdom. All of my children are grown but I would never want or expect them to come home with head lice; lice attack anything including adults. Please shower and wash your hair.

117 Rollo Tomasi May 14, 2014 at 11:37 AM

What a surprise. A taxpayer funded public agency (MDUSD) citing the policy change of another taxpayer funded public agency (CA Dept of Public Health) in order to assure more taxpayer funding.

118 anon May 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Since kids with headlice will be in school, those w/o head lice will stay home. maybe if that happens enough they will change the policy. Now along with the bedbug problem we’ll have a serious headlice problem. Brilliant! The almighty dollar win again.

119 haha May 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM

OK Mr mayor did you forget to run this story on April fools day?

120 Paul May 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Just another sign of society lowering the norms!

121 anon May 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM

could it be that there were decades when people were killing every bug they came upon killing good bugs along with the bad? I think were finally coming back around, but i dunno things are so much out of balance.

122 itsme May 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Speaking as a former teacher, that is a big mistake! When a child has lice, EVERYTHING has to be cleaned and washed with HOT water. That means toys, clothes, bed linens, furniture, rugs, car seats, car upholstery, not to mention the teacher is responsible for cleaning everything in the classroom! This is absolutely absurd. Anyone, whether child or adult needs to be removed until there is no trace of eggs after treatment. Lice crawls and without good eyesight easily missed.

123 Shelly May 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Normal clothes dryer cycles kill all lice and their eggs on clothes towells and linens and whatever else you put in there.

124 Almost There May 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Actually, when you stop and think about it there is a medical issue with lice. Kids who are constantly scratching their scalps with fingernails are creating open wounds. The germs from their fingernails cause severe infections on the scalp. We know kids do not wash hands like we think they should. I would say and infection that close to the brain would be a real risk factor in containing the little bugs. I have dealt with lice in the past. 30 + years ago. It was a $300.00 expense every time I had to get rid of them.

125 Antler May 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

ClayDen at #85. …… Leather seats? Absolutely!

126 itsme May 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM

One more thing…..the treatment for lice is a pesticide. Do you want your child to have pesticides directly on their body over and over?

127 @ Jess May 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

That’s funny you state they dn’t travel on back backs, because we found a bunch crawling on them and in wool sweaters and on Bart seats… YOU need to get informed! PLEASE HOMESCHOOL ANY OFFSPRING YOU MAY HAVE.

128 Anonymous May 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM

No question – it is all about the money.

There will be lice in the classroom all year!! A few years ago there was a classroom at our school in which someone constantly had lice. The problem was only solved after MONTHS of parents voicing their concern and FINALLY a school nurse checked every child and sent those home had it. The classroom was then lice free and the absent kids came back lice free. I don’t see how they can possibly control it and keep it out of the classroom if everyone stays at school with it.

129 OddDecision May 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Since other kids will have the risk of getting lice, isn’t this an oddball decision? Not sure where all the bugs are coming from, but when I was a kid we never had this problem in school. Not only will the kids be at risk, but it puts everyone in their families and people they come into contact wiht at risk. Who the He928374928734LL wants to deal with this?

130 PC May 14, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I guess the district needs to hire the services of an obliging monkey!

131 Nurse May 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I agree with Jess. She seems to be the only knowledgable person on here that really knows about lice.

132 warbirds45 May 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Where are the Trailer Parks in Claycord? Clear out a double wide, for a classroom, and keep them in the park!
I pledge allegiance to the Rebel Flag…….

133 MDUSD TROLLS! May 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Straight from the kidshealth.org website about the dangers of head lice…pretty much everything that the MDUSD Retards said about lice not being contagious is BS:

Are Lice Contagious?
Lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person, especially in group settings (schools, childcare centers, slumber parties, sports activities, and camps).

Though they can’t fly or jump, these tiny parasites have specially adapted claws that allow them to crawl and cling firmly to hair. They spread mainly through head-to-head contact, but sharing clothing, bed linens, combs, brushes, and hats can also help pass them along. Kids are most prone to catching lice because they tend to have close physical contact with each other and often share personal items.

And you may wonder if Fido or Fluffy may be catching the pests and passing them on to your family. But rest assured that pets can’t catch head lice and pass them on to people or the other way around.

Your doctor can recommend a medicated shampoo, cream rinse, or lotion to kill the lice. These may be over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications, depending on what treatments have already been tried. Medicated lice treatments usually kill the lice and nits, but it may take a few days for the itching to stop. For very resistant lice, an oral medication might be prescribed.

It’s important to follow the directions exactly because these products are insecticides. Applying too much medication — or using it too frequently — can increase the risk of causing harm. Follow the directions on the product label to ensure that the treatment works properly.

Treatment may be unsuccessful if the medication is not used correctly or if the lice are resistant to it. After treatment, your doctor may suggest combing out the nits with a fine-tooth comb and also may recommend repeating treatment in 7 to 10 days to kill any newly hatched nits.

ListenRemoving By HandIf your child is 2 years old or younger, you should not use medicated lice treatments. You’ll need to remove the nits and lice by hand.
To remove lice and nits by hand, use a fine-tooth comb on your child’s wet, conditioned hair every 3 to 4 days for 2 weeks after the last live louse was seen. Wetting the hair beforehand is recommended because it temporarily immobilizes the lice and the conditioner makes it easier to get a comb through the hair.
Wet combing is also an alternative to pesticide treatments in older kids. Though petroleum jelly, mayonnaise, or olive oil are sometimes used in an attempt to suffocate head lice, these treatments have not been proven to be effective.
Keep in mind that head lice don’t survive long once they fall off a person. So it’s unnecessary to spend a great deal of time and money trying to rid the house of lice.
Preventing ReinfestationHere are some simple ways to get rid of the lice and their eggs, and help prevent a lice reinfestation:
Wash all bed linens and clothing that’s been recently worn by anyone in your home who’s infested in very hot water (130° F [54.4° C]), then put them in the hot cycle of the dryer for at least 20 minutes.Have bed linens, clothing, and stuffed animals and plush toys that can’t be washed dry-cleaned. Or, put them in airtight bags for 2 weeks.Vacuum carpets and any upholstered furniture (in your home or car).Soak hair-care items like combs, barrettes, hair ties or bands, headbands, and brushes in rubbing alcohol or medicated shampoo for 1 hour. You can also wash them in hot water or just throw them away.Because lice are easily passed from person to person in the same house, bedmates and infested family members will also need treatment to prevent the lice from coming back.

ListenDont’sIn your efforts to get rid of the bugs, there are some things you shouldn’t do. Some don’ts of head lice treatment include:
Don’t use a hair dryer on your child’s hair after applying any of the currently available scalp treatments because some contain flammable ingredients.Don’t use a cream rinse or shampoo/conditioner combination before applying lice medication.Don’t wash your child’s hair for 1 to 2 days after using a medicated treatment.Don’t use sprays or hire a pest control company to try to get rid of the lice, as they can be harmful.Don’t use the same medication more than three times on one person. If it doesn’t seem to be working, your doctor may recommend another medication.Don’t use more than one head lice medication at a time.Preventing LiceHaving head lice is not a sign of uncleanliness or poor hygiene. The pesky little bugs can be a problem for kids of all ages and socioeconomic levels, no matter how often they do — or don’t — clean their hair or bathe.
However, you can help to prevent kids from getting lice — or from becoming reinfested with lice — by taking the following precautions:
Tell kids to try to avoid head-to-head contact at school (in gym, on the playground, or during sports) and while playing at home with other children.Tell kids not to share combs, brushes, hats, scarves, bandanas, ribbons, barrettes, hair ties or bands, towels, helmets, or other personal care items with anyone else, whether they may have lice or not.Tell kids not to lie on bedding, pillows, and carpets that have recently been used by someone with lice.Every 3 or 4 days, examine members of your household who have had close contact with a person who has lice. Then, treat those who are found to have lice or nits close to the scalp.BackContinue

ListenWill They Ever Be Gone?As many parents know firsthand, lice infestation can be a persistent nuisance, especially in group settings. If your child still has lice and you’ve followed every recommendation, it could be because:
some nits were left behindyour child is still being exposed to someone with licethe treatment you’re using isn’t effectiveThere’s no doubt that they can be hard bugs to get rid of. If your child still has lice 2 weeks after you started treatment or if your child’s scalp looks infected, call your doctor.
No matter how long the problem lasts, be sure to emphasize to your child that although having lice can certainly be very embarrassing, anyone can get them. It’s important for kids to understand that they haven’t done anything wrong and that having lice doesn’t make them dirty. And reassure them that as aggravating as getting rid of the annoying insects can be, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Be patient and follow the treatments and prevention tips as directed by your doctor for keeping the bugs at bay, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your family lice-free.
Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
Date reviewed: May 2011

134 Jess May 14, 2014 at 1:58 PM

What do they do in other states?

From the Iowa department of public health:

• There is no need for children to be sent home or to miss school, though treatment should be started before returning to school the next day
• School officials should ask parents to check their children’s hair at least weekly.

From the Minnesota health department:

Infested children do not need to be dismissed from school.
When a case of head lice is found, notices should be sent home to inform parents about head lice, outline the current problem in the school, and advise them to check for lice and nits in their children’s hair.

From the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control:

School-age children who are not medically fragile should be sent home at the end of the school day if head lice are discovered. The child may return to school with a parent note after they have been treated once with a school-approved lice-removal product. Your child’s school may recommend options for head lice treatment.

From the Texas Department of Health Services:

A “no nit” policy is one that excludes students from school based on the presence of lice eggs whether or not live lice are present. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) does not recommend a “no nit” policy. We do recognize, however, that school districts may adopt one as a local option.

DSHS does not have authority to impose a set policy regarding head lice on districts. DSHS does, however, urge school districts to ensure that its policy does not cause children to miss class unnecessarily or encourage the embarrassment and isolation of students who suffer from repeated head lice infestations.

Head lice infestation is a social issue not a health threat. “No nit” policies place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on head lice management than on real health concerns which should be a higher priority. This over-emphasis can lead to unproductive use of time by school staff and parents, missed classes, unnecessary absences, and parents missing work.

From the New Jersey Department of a Health:

Because a child with an active head lice infestation has likely had the infestation for a month or more by the time it is discovered, he or she should be allowed to remain in class, but be dis- couraged from close direct head contact with others. The child’s parent or guardian should be notified of the infestation that day by telephone, or by a note sent home with the child at the end of the school day. The parent or guardian should be advised that prompt proper treatment is in the best interest of the child and his or her classmates.
Other children in the school who were most likely to have had direct head-to-head contact with the infested child should also be checked. Classroom or school-wide screening has not been proven to be necessary or effective at controlling the spread of head lice.
Some schools have “no nit” policies under which a child is not allowed to return to school until all nits are removed. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses discourage such policies.

135 @OddDecision May 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

The bugs come from those you don’t even consider or think of as part of the norm; so they blend in or are over-looked. That is the reality.

136 @stupidity May 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Do some damn research first before opening up your butt cheeks and speaking. lice is contagious and dangerous. If your kid shows up with lice at school he/she poses a health risk to everyone.The MDUSD board members are stupid morons and dont know crap about health and safety for kids. wake up.

137 PH resident May 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

As an elementary school trscher in the school district, this worries me. Live spreads so easily and quickly. If we don’t send them home to get treated, we will have a live epidemic on our hands. I can never where my hair down as it is while I teach. I am always leaning over students’ desks to help them with their work. As it is now, parents knowingly send their kids to school with head lice. I also have not seen or heard of a bullying problem due to students having lice. Everyone is very discreet!

138 PH resident May 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Auto correct! Meant to say teacher and lice! Sorry for the misspelling. As a teacher, I should know better right!? Lol!!!

139 Just me May 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Change is hard but this is stupid. There will be more bullying and more head lice.

140 Acd77 May 14, 2014 at 3:59 PM

News stations will be at the MDUSD Board Mtg tonight. No one wants the itchy uncomfortable kid to stay at school. Don’t leave this up to an honor system hoping a parent will take care of the problem. Stick with the old policy requiring a child to go home, get the necessary treatment and return to school once that has been done.

141 Steve H. May 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM

PH resident #138; I like the part where you say “I can never where my hair down…”! Are you an MDUSD teacher? Because that’s kind of scary.

142 Anon May 14, 2014 at 8:53 PM

GD schools are more interested in money and test scores than (un)common sense. What a joke!


143 Concord Mom May 14, 2014 at 9:27 PM

They haven’t approved it yet!! Parents need to object.

Lice poses no health risk…. What about the chemicals in the shampoo and sprays? I don’t know about the administrators, but I’m not ok with the school allowing an outbreak of lice when it could be limited. I’d prefer to avoid spraying insecticides in my home and if I could avoid putting it on my child’s head or someone else’s, I would!

Here’s an idea: Designate a ‘head check’ day on a FRIDAY if a child had or has lice or monthly, for each class. Kids go in threes to the office for it. Kids with lice don’t come back on Monday unless they’ve been treated. Parents have two days to get rid of the bugs. That’s how it was done at my school growing up. We never had an outbreak or recurrence. No hurt feelings and no missed school… Unless the parent lagged, so it’s on them if their kid missed a day.

144 Cynthia Barton May 15, 2014 at 12:53 AM

This is NOT the way to stop bullying. If they are so wortied about bullying then make sure the teacher and school nurses keep their mouths shut about why the child was sent home. Just say they were sick. Spreading lice is not the way. That is a stupid ignorant thing to do. They will start an epidemic they cant get rid of. The Lice meds will eventually stop working. Everyone on that board should be fired for being too stupid.

145 Not a good plan May 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Is a child more likely to be bullied if:
He gets sent home for having lice and can’t come back until he is treated.
Is sitting in glass with bugs crawling on his head for weeks while the other kids watch the bugs get bigger? Other students won’t want to sit next to him or have any of their belongings touch his.

Is the school going to have more absences if:
1or 2 children are sent home until treated.
The moms hear of 2 or 3 kids in their child’s class that have untreated lice?

Think about it people, this will backfire big time!

146 Nurse May 15, 2014 at 10:19 PM

I would never send my child home from school for lice and never have. If one kid gets it the entire class gets it whether you send them home or not. My child goes to private school too so all you goody too shoe moms need to get a reality check.

147 Concerned parenting May 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

I would like to know of this is in effect STILL
And does Martinez have the same rules
I know as a parent I am not allowed to check other children’s heads
And I know that the school doesn’t check when a child is scratching their head like crazy ( I was told I was out of line for saying anything and it wasn’t my place to say anything…..I know the school isn’t going to pay $ 100-200 to if my child ends up
With it due to the negligence of the staff . I have to treat the head 1-3 to
E then do my own because I can’t check my own head
Then wash everything and then was all bedding everyday for 14 days then I bug bomb my house not to mention I have to was the sheets I use to cover my couches I buy the spray to spay the animals
If this rule is still in effect I am going to flip my lid

148 Concerned parenting May 16, 2014 at 11:33 PM

I would like to know of this is in effect STILL
And does Martinez have the same rules
I know as a parent I am not allowed to check other children’s heads
And I know that the school doesn’t check when a child is scratching their head like crazy ( I was told I was out of line for saying anything and it wasn’t my place to say anything…..I know the school isn’t going to pay $ 100-200 to if my child ends up
With it due to the negligence of the staff . I have to treat the head 1-3 to
E then do my own because I can’t check my own head
Then wash everything and then was all bedding everyday for 14 days then I bug bomb my house not to mention I have to was the sheets I use to cover my couches I buy the spray to spray the stuffed animals and floors and pilliows bedding couches ect….
If this rule is still in effect I am going to flip my lid

149 Suzanne May 16, 2014 at 11:45 PM

@Concerned parenting
That sounds terrible…and pretty disgusting!

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