The Current

New lice policy that allows children back in class bugs parents

An Ontario school board has decided it will no longer force kids with head lice out of school, citing medical experts who say lice is not a medical condition. But many parents are concerned the new policy will force them to spend too much time… literally, nit-picking.
Superintendent of Education, Mark Fisher of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, says the new lice school policy is based on science and medical data. (Michael McCauslin/Flickrcc)

* A word of warning about this segment. It could give you the uncontrollable urge to scratch your head.*

Ahh... head lice.  

The scourge of school kids, and their parents for generations.

But something's been changing lately in the way schools approach head lice. Long-standing policies telling kids with lice to stay home, are being reversed. It's happening in school boards across the country. 

Mark Fisher is the Superintendent of Education at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.  He joined us by phone from Belleville, Ontario.

Earlier this month, when the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board in Ontario announced that children with lice could come to school... some parents were less than pleased. Including Kristy Sinclair. She is a mother of three and she started the Facebook group "Stop the New Head Lice Protocol." 

Not everyone agreees the new head lice policy changes will work out well. Richard Pollack is a public health entomologist. He is also the President of Identify Us, a company that identifies pests such as lice, bed bugs or fleas. He joined Anna Maria from Boston. 

Have you waged war on head lice? What should schools do about it?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese, Karin Marley and Marino Greco.