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Gainesville Area School Lice Policies

Gainesville Area School Lice Policies
Updated on 
May 15, 2018

Gainesville School District

Children with live bugs or “viable nits” are not allowed to remain in school.

“In Gainesville City Schools, if a nurse finds live lice on a child, the parent will be asked to come get the student and perform a treatment at home. Once that is done, the child may return to school.

‘The nurse will need to check the student’s hair upon their return, and our goal is to see an improvement in the condition of the head — no live lice and less or no nits,’ Collins said.

Gainesville asks that children do not miss more than one day of school for a case of lice, but if the school nurse concludes no treatment was performed at home, the child will not be allowed to stay in school.”

Source: Gainesville Time

Ocala School District

Ocala schools follows the Marion County lice policy which is a “no nit” policy. Children with an active case of lice and/or nits will not be permitted to attend school.

“While a handful of school districts around the nation have relaxed head lice policies, including Brevard County, most remain nitpicky about the issue. In fact, most school districts nationwide, including Marion, are sticking with decades-old no-nit policies.

School District spokesman Kevin Christian said Marion has no plans to change its no-nit policy.

If Marion children are found to have lice or nits, they are sent home immediately. The children can’t return until they are treated and become free of live lice and nits.

Craig Ackerman, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Marion County, said head lice is not a public health hazard. Therefore, the agency leaves policy-making to the school district.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement that strict no-nit policies are no longer necessary.

‘Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun,’ according to the statement.

‘Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice,’ it stated.

The American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses have studied the issue and believe no-nit policies should be discontinued.

The CDC stated the reasons for discontinuing such polices:

  • Many nits are about a quarter inch from the scalp. Such nits are unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice.
  • Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to others.
  • Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during checks conducted by nonmedical school personnel.”

Again, despite these recommendations, Gainesville schools continue to maintain a “no nit” lice policy in an effort to reduce the chances of lice transmission at school.”

Source: Ocala News

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