Head lice changes lead to head scratching

A school principal in eastern P.E.I. is wondering if a new policy allowing students with lice eggs to stay in school is a good idea.

A school principal in eastern P.E.I. is looking at returning to the old way of doing things when it comes to students with lice eggs.

In the past, Southern King's Consolidated sent kids home until they were clear of nits.

But principal Paul Sullivan decided to try a new method, when health officials said head lice are a nuisance, but not a health issue, and kids could stay in school.

Now, Sullivan said parents are complaining about how lice are spreading in the school.

"I'm not a medical doctor and they tell me it's not a medical problem, but to me it appears it's causing grief with the parents," said Sullivan.

"You think you've got it beat and it pops its head back up again. I suspect part of that is we're allowing kids with nits to be in the classroom."

Provincial Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said lice do not spread disease and are not a sign of poor hygiene. The issue was brought up because medical officials were concerned students with nits were missing school when they didn't need to.

The Education Department said it is working on a policy when it comes to lice in schools.

But for now, things are status quo, with principals able to make their own decisions when it comes to lice and when students can't be in school.