Valley Parent Upset Over State Approach to Head Lice in Schools
WESLACO – A Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation on head lice has one Rio Grande Valley parent upset.
He said his son got head lice from a classmate. The Cleckler-Head Elementary school parent, whom we'll call 'John', said this has been the case for his son for the last month and a half.
"Every week, he's been getting them every week," said John. "I've already spoken to the school district, to the school where he's at. They're not doing anything about."
John asked us to conceal his identity. He doesn't want his son the target of ridicule from other students.
He believes the district should take a more aggressive stance on head lice.
"Checking every kid and not letting him come back until the problem is solved," said John.
John was surprised to learn schools in the state of Texas aren't mandated to send children with lice home for the day.
Regional Medical Director of the Texas Department of State Health Services Dr. Emily Prot said this falls in line with CDC recommendations.
“The state of Texas, and the CDC also, recommends that kids should not be sent home on the basis of finding lice," said Dr. Prot. "Once you find lice, you can get them over the counter medicine or you can go see your PCP or your primary care provider, and he can give you prescription medication."
CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to the Weslaco Independent School District for answers. Weslaco ISD health services coordinator Susan Strong said their protocols reflect in line with recommendations laid out by the CDC and the state.
"If you notice it’s itching or scratching their head or having difficulty concentrating, then they will send the child to the nurse. The nurse would then do a screening. If they would find any signs of lice or nits in the hair, they contact the parent," said Strong. “The child will remain in school until the end of the day and the parents will take them and do a treatment on them."
If the student has live lice when they come back to school, they're sent home with their parent. If they have no live lice, they go back to class, even if they have nits in their hair.
Strong said Wednesday’s case is the first she's heard. She encourages any concerned parents to reach out to her at the district office.