The Sea to Sky school district is changing its policy on head lice. Students with head lice will no longer be asked to stay home.
According to the new policy: “It is recognized that head lice infestations are considered by public health as a nuisance condition and as such do not pose a serious health problem. Therefore, a child shall not be denied admittance to school because of head lice.”
“The biggest thing that we added [to the policy] is that the dignity of the students and their families shall be respected,” Phillip Clarke, the school district’s director of instruction, told the CBC.
Clarke told CBC that public health authorities regard the head lice as more of a nuisance rather than a health risk. It is one of the reasons why the district’s policy was up for a change, he said.
He said because head lice isn’t considered a sign of poor hygiene and is not believed to spread disease, there is no need for this “antiquated practices.”
“I don’t think [public lice checks at school] are socially appropriate, but most importantly, it’s not medically necessary,” Clarke said. “There’s just no reason to do that.” The Sea to Sky School board will now educate staff and parents about the detection and treatment of head lice.
The school district has also scrapped the rule which called for mandatory assembly line checking for head lice.