Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The public schools in Oakland, California, have decided to drop their zero-tolerance policy against lice. Kids with itchy nits will be welcome to stay in school, even at the risk that they will infect their little (human) playmates.
Citing a policy in Western Australia, school administrators said that not sending infected kids home will encourage them to admit their problem and receive treatment. (That's always the first step, as any Lice Anonymous coach will tell you.)
"There are no serious health consequences or risks of students having head lice," Joan Edelstein, the district's health services coordinator, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "We don't want students to be missing five to 10 days of schools when they pose no risk of harm to themselves or anyone else."
The district's wellness coordinator, who is also the parent of a child in the district, applauds the move, delighted that she will no longer have to miss work due to lice. "Kids go to school with snot running down their face, but nobody sends them home," she said.
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