Is head lice a bigger problem than normal at Elsberry Schools

Four parents attended the Elsberry R-II School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 12 to discuss an issue that left both sides scratching their heads.

During the open forum discussion, Amanda Moyer stood and addressed the board about an issue with head lice.
According to Moyer she feels there is a problem running rampant from Pre-K through High School and she along with the other three parents want all the students checked.

Moyer had found head lice on her young daughter at home and feels that the issue is at the school.
Moyer stated she had contacted the school and spoke to Elsberry R-II Superintendent Dr. Tim Reller. She stated that he told her it wasn’t the schools problem.

“In my opinion and a lot of others opinion it is partly to do with the school,” said Moyer. “I haven’t had it, my son hasn’t had it, my husband hasn’t had it and neither has anyone else in my family. It’s being spread somewhere.”
Moyer went on to say with the constant contact the kids have to and from school that the problem has to be at the school.

“I just think more should be done at the school,” she said. “It’s not just normal lice, they are calling it “super lice” and it’s a lot harder to get rid of.”

Reller stated that he felt the problem wasn’t any worse or different than it had been in past years and stated that the school is following the procedure regarding students with head lice.

The procedure is more strict than other area schools and goes beyond what the CDC recommends.

The nurse is to check each child Kindergarten through fourth grade at the beginning of the year when their hearing and vision screenings are done. After that it is on an as needed basis. High School and Middle School students are checked on an as needed basis since they are old enough to tell someone they are itchy. If a child is reported to have head lice or is found to have head lice that child is sent home When anyone is reported to have head lice a check of their classroom and their siblings classroom if they have the head lice will be performed as well. A note printed from the CDC Manuel for schools is then also sent home with the whole grade level involved.

It was also stated that students were not allowed to return until they have been checked by the school nurse.

After discussion became heated Moyer stated she felt the board was “listening not to fix the problem but to argue.”

Board President Matt Jones asked Moyer what she wanted done from the board. Her answer was to have all students checked.

Jones stated that the board would look into the issue and if the policy needed to be updated or changed they would.

With the discussion only occurring in the open forum discussion and not being an agenda item, the board would have been unable to act on the matter at the meeting.