Heads up. Lice is less important than test prep.

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Heads up.

Lice is now allowed in schools.

You heard right.

Not completely common core related except if you think about the pressure on these kids to test. And the problem with missing days of test
prep due to these little pesky bugs.

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html.

This public health nuisance that is both expensive and time consuming to treat, is no longer a reason that infected children will be sent home from school. NYSDOE thinks it’s just not all that important.

http://www.schoolhealthservicesny.com/faq.cfm?subpage=80B.

Never mind that lice treatment is a chemical storm of dangerous ingredients, which many children are sensitive to. Or the fact that scratching from lice can lead to other infections, including impetigo. We need warm bodies in those seats for plenty of rigor and test preparation. School has become not just free daycare, but also a factory to churn out good little test taking global citizens, aka human capital.

Anna Shah, SOTHVNY blog and Hudson Valley Alliance for Public Education states,

“Just to clarify, it’s not only in New York, this is a nationwide switch in protocol. A few years ago the US Department of Education cracked down on attendance policies, on the basis that keeping children out of school, for whatever reason, interfered with the education process. Under pressure, and in agreement with the basic idea that school attendance is important for learning, the American Academy of pediatrics and the national school nurses association changed their policies relating to many treatment and medical protocols, including lice. They state that lice does not constitute a “communicable” disease or illness, and is therefore not harmful to the general public. It is considered a “nuisance”, but not a “communicable illness”.

Of import, common over-the-counter medications that are often suggested by school medical personnel are now being banned. Lindane is no longer permissible treatment for lice on kids even though it still has FDA approval. Keep that in mind.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/24/insecticide-lindane-found-to-cause-cancer.

It is the belief that absence from school stymies the pace of learning… Of course with common core in play, every opportunity to mitigate absences deemed unnecessary, which results in children attending school even when they have bugs on their little heads. I do have a problem with this personally, but as a parent I feel like the way I would handle it is to keep my child home and do what I needed to do.”

She adds:

“I think it happens in every school, every neighborhood, probably every year… It’s just a matter of containing the problem and treating the issue really fast before it spirals out of control. But, again, the kids barely have time to wash their hands during the day because there is so much emphasis on instruction, ELA and math and test prep and they barely have time to go to the bathroom.I’m thinking it’s just an issue that’s overlooked in some cases. Hard to manage or recognize symptoms when you’re so busy trying to cram lessons into the day. Plus, again, the attendance policies have changed at the federal level and they are really cracking down on parents for absences… Don’t forget a parent can be referred to child protective services and/or charge with educational neglect for “unexcused and “absences or excessive absences if those absences interfere with the child’s education.

This condition can be uncomfortable for kids, yet they’re supposed to focus and concentrate on learning… while bugs are literally crawling around on their heads.

This reflects on how demanding and rigorous education has become, to the extent that the schools are not willing to excuse attendance for fear of losing precious instruction time.

As an adult, if you had a case of lice would you want to go to work? Would you feel comfortable? Would you be able to concentrate on your job knowing that their little critters crawling around in your hair?”

http://www.schoolhealthservicesny.com/laws_guidelines.cfm?subpage=124.

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Parents in Texas and Indiana and several other states where this has been policy for a while are very upset. One wrote this:

“I went in to sub the other day and they were talking about how bad it (the lice) is. They also have fleas in one of the classrooms. In that same classroom every single child had lice. The aides have to wear flea collars on their legs because the fleas are so bad.”

Some parents are reporting that lice are rampant now and commonplace. They cannot be decimated because there are too many cases.

Tied to common core or not, it’s still disgusting. The state money for the children marked present and the warm bodies in chairs to sit for test prep, and the rigor and impossible pace of the lessons make the districts insinuate it is impossible for children to miss school. Teachers and parents alike are absolutely furious. The USDOE has been headed this way for some time at the backing of the CDC. It’s easy for them to make these rules, since they do not have the best interest of families anywhere in sight.

Please read the following;

http://m.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/schools-ease-head-lice-policies-bugging-parents-article-1.1510779.

And then there’s super lice. No words on that.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/09/super-lice-resistant-to-chemical/6239413/.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4942080.

Parent Summer Michaelson comments;

“What about Ringworm? It doesn’t pose a threat to taking tests either. Where is the line drawn? And who does the US Department of Education answer to, if not to students and their families?”

Who do they answer to, indeed is the question.

Local to Hudson Valley:

Mid Hudson Valley School Lice Policy

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