The Indiana state government web site does not endorse any particular head lice policy but states, “School nurses should work with their administration and LHDs to implement a policy regarding head lice and attendance. A lack of scientific evidence hinders the ISDH from endorsing any policy; however, it should be noted that most school systems no longer support a “no-nit” policy.”
Indianapolis Public Schools Lice Policy
While the Indianapolis schools do not have a “no nit” policy, the policy is stricter than the one recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics which advocates that schools should permit students to remain in school with nits or lice most cases of lice are diagnosed after kids have had the opportunity to transmit lice to classmates. The Indianapolis schools web site states, “If lice are suspected at school, a child will be checked and if an infestation is discovered, the parents will be contacted to come and get the child for immediate treatment. Classmates and siblings of the child may also be checked at this time. A child may return to school the following day if they have been treated and no lice (bugs) are visible.”
Monroe County Schools Lice Policy
Similarly, in the Monroe County Schools, students are permitted to remain in school with nits but those with live lice will not be admitted. “The bottom line is: head lice is not a health hazard,” said school physician James Laughlin, president of Southern Indiana Pediatrics. “It is a real nuisance. And there’s a program that we can implement without excluding kids needlessly from school.” During the past three years, about 2,000 days of instruction were missed because of lice, said Mike Shipman, director of operations for the school district.
District of Perry Township Schools Lice Policy
As with the Indianapolis and Monroe County schools, students with head lice will be sent home from school. Students with only nits will be allowed to remain in school, unless the nits are closer than ¼ inch from the scalp. In those cases, the nits are deemed viable and they must be removed.
More information for the District of Perry Township School Policies can be found here: www.msdpt.k12.in.us/
Carmel Clay School System
In the Carmel/Clay School District, the policy is more lenient than the three aforementioned districts. This district maintains a policy that is in accordance with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The district states on its web site, “Parents have prime responsibility of assisting in the prevention and management of head lice cases through regular checks of their children’s hair and starting immediate treatment when head lice are detected. While head lice are a nuisance, they do not spread disease and are not a health issue. Should a case of head lice be brought to the school’s attention, the school nurse will maintain confidentiality at school, verify presence of an active infestation, and bring it to the child’s parent’s attention. Parents, students and school staff will be educated about head lice identification, treatment and prevention. If at all possible, students should not be excluded from school for having head lice as the management of head lice should not disrupt the educational process of the child. The need to exclude students from school will be determined on a case by case basis. This policy is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, and the Hamilton County Health Department.”
Find the official Carmel Clay Schools Head Lice Policy here: www1.ccs.k12.in.us/
Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Fishers, Indiana
This district has a lice policy that follows along the guidelines of the Carmel/ Clay district. “While head lice are a nuisance, they do not spread disease and are not a health issue. Should a case of head lice be brought to the school’s attention, the school nurse will maintain confidentiality of the student’s identity, verify the presence of an active infestation, and bring it to the attention of the child’s parent/guardian. HSE nurses will assess students for head lice who present with symptoms, notify the child’s parents of a confirmed case, assist staff and parents with educational material, reassess a student with a confirmed case to monitor the effectiveness of treatment, and refer to a health care provider as needed. Students should not be excluded from school for having nits, as the management of this condition should not disrupt the educational process of the child. The need to exclude students from school will be determined on a case by case basis. This protocol is supported by the National Pediculosis Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses. Please contact your school nurse if further information or resources are needed.”
Find Hamilton Southeastern Schools complete policies list here: www.hse.k12.in.us/Learn About Our Indianapolis Lice Removal Service