LETTER: Parent Concerned About Head Lice

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To whom it may concern:

I have a step child that goes to the elementary school in Auburntown. I am concerned about the way the school is handling the issue of head lice.

About a month and a half before school let out for the summer my step child came home with lice. We treated the child and disinfected everything in the house. The child missed school on Monday and returned to school on Tuesday.

The child was checked by the principal or vice principal and was told everything was fine and go to class. When the child arrived to the classroom they were told by the teacher that nobody knew of the lice and the students were told they were ill. Then ten days later we re-treated the child and disinfected everything again to make sure no nits hatched. Then one week after that, we rechecked to make sure there was none in the child's hair.

Now that school has gotten out for summer time, the child has been playing with the friends and family that go to the school. As of yesterday the child has lice again!

My concern is this ... when the school first checked the child a week before the first outbreak we were told there was no lice. Then when the child returned to school there was no note sent to any other parents letting them know to check their children for lice. I am wondering why the school is choosing to hide the lice outbreak instead of doing what they are supposed to be doing and informing the parents so this can be dealt with instead of being passed from child to child.

Please notify the citizens of Cannon County to check their children for lice so they can be treated in the proper way. We are contacting the parents of the children our child has been in contact with this past week or so but our child has been to church and parties and such things. Our child has been through enough of the chemical treatment and this needs to be stopped. I have contacted the health department and am now going to contact the school board regarding the lack of importance they are giving to this matter.

Thank you,

A concerned citizen and parent
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Members Opinions:
June 15, 2011 at 9:42am
To A concerned citizen and parent,

Dealing with head lice is never a pleasant situation to deal with or be informed of. In the 14 years I have had students enrolled at Auburn Elementary School, there have been cases of head lice. I am not sure I would label it an "outbreak". I believe this is normally a private situation and students are not singled out. I can not image a teacher telling the students in the class one of their friends was not there because they had lice.

It is part of a parents responsibility to check for this often. You may not know that other students may have been treated too.

Auburn school has always gone by the policies set by the school board and if ever there was a question, the faculty and staff always verify before taking action.

Speaking as the past PTO president, any parent that has concerns about the school or would like to be involved in decisions have always been invited to the PTO Meetings.

You are a very lucky person to be able to send your child to one of the best schools in the state of Tennessee. We made our home in Auburntown after visiting with the school.

A very satisfied parent of two graduates of Auburn Elementary.

Lynn Adams
June 15, 2011 at 11:57am
As a parent in the Eastside area when my child was in school there if he/she had lice issues the principal always sent a letter home to notify the parents & now I am a parent in the Westside area we havent had a problem with lice at all....Thank goodness!!!!
June 15, 2011 at 12:00pm
By the way I am sorry you & your family are having to deal with this it is a stressful problem & can be "very costly"
June 15, 2011 at 1:10pm

You are absolutely on the money! Auburn is an awesome school! There is no better place to be.

Have you realized that school is out? It has been out for close to three weeks. What are the teachers and administration supposed to do about it now that you have your children at home for the summer? Did you think to try to address this BEFORE school let out?

My children attend Auburn Elementary as well. I have received notes before about checking my children for lice or nits at home "just in case." The teachers and Mrs. Melinda have ALWAYS been wonderful to answer questions and send the "Knightly News" along with regular notes home. I'm not sure what went wrong here, but maybe some major cleaning needs to be done your home in order for things to really stop what you call is an "outbreak." Good luck!
June 15, 2011 at 3:36pm
Blame others for your incompetence and/or lack of responsibility. Poor teachers are expected to be social workers these days.
June 15, 2011 at 3:44pm
All school systems should make the parent's aware if any child in the classroom has head lice! A letter should be sent out. If that is not happening then I agree with this step parent. It should be taken before the board! To some of the previous posts...ONE child having head lice in a classroom can indeed cause a major outbreak! We as parents should be made aware if even ONE child is sent home due to head lice.
June 15, 2011 at 6:14pm
Coffee county schools have a very strict head-lice policy. If even one child in that school comes in with lice, the whole school and every student is notified. They have very strict standards on policies involving the prevention of head lice. Cannon needs to do a little up-dating. But I do agree in general, that they have wonderful schools. My son and grandson attend here in Cannon.
June 15, 2011 at 6:36pm
@Redeemed: A child getting head lice does NOT make a parent incompetent or irresponsible! The school should make all parents aware that a child has been in the classroom with head lice. Removal is very costly and if one parent treats their child, but the rest of the parents don't treat their children..then the process starts all over again!The health department will tell you the same thing.
June 15, 2011 at 9:46pm
If the school would have sent out a letter during the school year when the outbreak happened then everyone that had it could have been treated. The school kept quiet about it. Were any of you parents notified in April or May that there were children in the school with lice? You should have been notified. My child got it as a result of another child having it. I have disinfected everything the way I was supposed to. I have continued to check my child every week for any signs of lice or nits. Nobody else at our house has it and if it is in our house we all should by now. It keeps being brought back to our house by my youngest from someone they have been in contact with.
June 17, 2011 at 9:58pm
Ha @Redeemed! It's not gonna hurt 'em to copy a letter to be sent home. They're not being asked to go clean house :)
June 18, 2011 at 8:32am
Still it is rather ODD that this comes out 3 weeks after the kids have been home.
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