Parents petition AISD to change lice policy

Parents petition AISD to change lice policy

AMARILLO, TX - Hundreds of concerned parents are urging Amarillo ISD to revise its policy concerning lice.

Casie Hawkins said her daughter has contracted lice at her elementary school three times in the past two years.

She decided after the third round of lice, it was time for AISD to make a change to its lice policy.

She turned to to create a petition, asking the superintendent to change the way lice is handled in the school district.

Since its creation last night, more than 800 concerned parents have pledged their support.

Many parents left comments on how frequently their children have caught lice at school.

"I don't think it's fair to the parents to not have a voice and not be able to help make the policy for the schools," said Hawkins. "I think if more parents came together like we are with this petition and take it to the superintendent and take it to the state, we can get something done to prevent this from happening."

Hawkins said she talked with her daughter's principal and school nurse and they told her students are not sent home if they have active lice.

Brenda Adams, AISD'S Program Director for Student Health Services, said this is not true, and only students with nits (lice eggs) are allowed to stay in school.

"If they have active lice we do go ahead and send them home," said Adams. "After they are treated and there is no evidence of active lice, they can return to school."

Adams said AISD schools do not conduct school wide lice checks.

Lice is not a communicable disease, and Adams said it is only spread from head-to-head contact.

Sharing hats, brushes, or anything that touches hair can spread lice.

Once the school is made aware there is a case of lice, they screen kids they think may be affected.

"I feel that's a little ridiculous," said Hawkins. "Lice spreads like wildfire and if one student in the class has it, probably more than one student has it, and so everybody needs to get checked."

There is no state law on how schools need to deal with lice, and those decisions are left up to each individual school district.

A law is what Hawkins hopes will come from this petition.

"I hope we can get a law implemented that will state that children with active lice are not allowed in the classrooms at all period."

AISD's current lice policy can be found here.