ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Parents in Elk Grove are frustrated after battling head lice for months.
Now they’re calling on the district to step in and change school policy on when to send a child home if they’re infected.
“If that were to change, that would prevent all of this infestation that’s going on,” said Jenn Moore, a mother of three who had a tough time battling lice in her household.
Last week, Elk Grove mom Traci Feaster started a petition on change.org to change the Elk Grove Unified School District’s policy on lice. Back in July 2015, it changed from a “no-nit” policy to a “no live lice” policy. Before, if students had lice eggs, known as nits, they had to stay home. Now, only live lice keep a child out of school. In short, children with lice eggs but no live bugs don’t have to stay home.
“It just felt like tiny little bugs again like just crawling through my hair,” said Moore’s 9-year-old daughter Loie Moore.
In November, the 4th grader came home from school with a head full of lice eggs. Her 8-year-old sister Meelah had them too along with live lice bugs.
“She found it in her hair so then they called me up and I’m like ‘what the?’ I didn’t even know,” Loie said.
Her mother took the family to Lice Clinic of America for treatment where they found out that Jenn had eggs in her hair too!
“I wanted to tell everybody,” Moore said. “I was like ‘check your kids. They don’t send home notices anymore. Both my kids have it!’”
Feaster hopes EGUSD will revert back to the previous policy before the 2015 change. But EGUSD spokesperson Xanthi Pinkerton said in a statement the old policy “caused an increase in absenteeism.” Furthermore, “…new protocol notes that head lice do not transmit disease to humans.” The statement goes on to say “District officials have acknowledged the parent’s petition and will be meeting with school nurses to discuss the current ‘no-live lice’ protocol.”
“I’m just glad it’s gone,” Loie said.
While the family is lice-free now, Moore told CBS13 going back to a “no-nit” policy means a safer school for all students and their parents.
Right now, if a student is sent home because of lice, the absence is not excused. EGUSD told CBS13 it plans to review that policy during the meeting with school nurses.