The Rome school district has a new policy for children detected with head lice and at least one teacher is concerned about the change in procedure.

Based on new evidence, Rome school superintendent Peter C. Blake told the Rome Daily Sentinel his district has decided to allow some kids with head lice to remain in school. Meanwhile, substitute teacher Francine Chilkotowsky thinks these children may be infecting other kids. Blake's decision stems from the recommendation of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that the health risk of head lice should not impede education.

NASN believes head lice contagiousness is misunderstood and more rare than people realize; the organization thinks absenteeism could be a greater problem. NASN would essentially empower school nurses to render decisions on a case-by-case basis. In a full report on its website, NASN recommends the following:

...allowing children to remain in class and participate in school-sponsored activities when live lice or nits (the eggs of head lice) are found on their heads, notifying parents/caregivers at the end of the school day when findings indicate the presence of a head lice infestation, and educating parents/caregivers about evidence-based treatment options.

Chiltokowsky believes this strategy could be flawed. In the same Rome Daily Sentinel piece, she said she has perceived a rise in head lice cases and attributes that increase to the new less conservative rules. Meanwhile, Blake says he's putting his trust in the latest opinions formed by the medical community.

Are you in favor of this new rule here in Central New York or do you think safer procedures are warranted?

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