George Bush: Louse enabler?

George Bush: Louse enabler?

I don’t really like the No Child Left Behind law. Maybe it leaves fewer children behind but it tends to deaden the teaching of average and above average kids. However, I didn’t realize until I read today’s Wall St. Journal that there is a health policy impact. (See Kink in Federal Law Is Prompting Schools To Stop Picking Nits.)

Schools didn’t listen too much when the American Academy of Pediatrics said”No Nit” policies that ban infested kids from school are unnecessary. Schools still tended to send kids home and not let them return for several days, until they could prove they were nit free. A lot of money was wasted on useless and dangerous treatments, and school time wasted on head checks. But since No Child started measuring schools on attendance, there has been a major rethink. Schools are realizing that eliminating “No Nit” is an easy way to beef up attendance.

There’s a long-running fight between the No Nit people and those who take a more lenient stand. The policy changes have added fuel to that fire. The article hints at some correlation between attitude and hair length:

[An assistant superintendent in KY who pushed through a lice tolerance policy] says some miffed parents claim he’s insensitive to the issue because he is bald.

Meanwhile in LA:

The new [lice tolerance] policy upsets Barbara Bernato, whose daughter, Mikayla, got head lice last fall while attending kindergarten… After discovering a second infestation in February, Ms. Bernato spent six hours combing the nits out of her daughter’s waist-length hair.

Why does a kindergartener have waist-length hair in the first place?

I’m a lice tolerance guy myself. I’m bald, too, so maybe that’s why.

June 1, 2006

4 thoughts on “George Bush: Louse enabler?”

  1. One fact seldom shared with parents is that normal hair oils are a significant protection against head lice and keeping hair extra clean by frequent shampooing is a risk factor for getting lice. As with other preventive health measures there are few incentives for this information to be shared.

  2. Thanks to Mickey for making me feel better about not shampooing the boys every night.

    I blogged on this earlier. Can’t remember what I said.



  3. I constantly caught nits from infested children at school. In the UK, the recommended method to get rid of them was by use of a metal, very fine-toothed comb. My hair was very thick and very curly – everyday, my sisters and I had to comb through eachothers’ hair. It was completely wretched. On and off, we had to do this for years.

    My grandfather told us a story from his experiences in WW1 to ‘cheer’ us up. Amidst all the dreadful things that they had seen and endured, it was the lice and other infestations that some of the men chose to complain about (don’t talk about the things that bother you, eh?). One day, my grandfather came upon his very young officer who was crying, and the ostensible reason was ‘the nits’. My grandfather listened and then said, “Sir, has it ever occurred to you that even nits prefer a clean home?”.

    I remember that story as I spend my time on cinema seats and on public transport, leaning my head forward to avoid contact with the seat fabric. And, yes, I do know that I am being irrational, but the memory of those marathon Derbac sessions is not going away anytime soon…

    I will refrain from the rant that is welling up about people who don’t bother fumigating their homes for dog or cat fleas because ‘they don’t bite’. They may not be able to draw blood, but, trust me, it doesn’t deter them from trying, no matter how often they fail. I go into properties where other people have lived without incident and even where the pets are long gone, and I seem to wake the wretched things from dormancy.

    Yours, pondering why her blood is overwhelmingly attractive to various lifeforms – Shinga

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