BELLINGHAM -- Some parents strongly disagree with the Bellingham School District's policy to encourage children infected with head lice to go to school.
District officials changed the policy regarding lice just last year. Before, children with lice were sent home from school. Now, the district encourages parents to bring their children to school if they do have lice so they can continue to learn.
Steve Morse, a spokesman for the district, said, "It’s more of a nuisance than a disease or a big health concern and we just feel it's important for kids to be at school and get their education."
But many parents say this will only make the growing problem regarding lice even worse.
Jane Poppensiek, a concerned grandmother, said, "I really think that once it’s discovered, they should probably stay home until it’s taken care of."
Jane's granddaughter suffers from an extreme case of epilepsy. She has a strict diet and can only use special soaps and shampoos. Treating head lice in her household could be very dangerous.
"She has a disability and we have to be very careful on what medicines she takes or what she comes into contact with. To use the lice-killing formula on her could be very serious," she said.
District officials say if a parent chooses to keep a child home from school with lice, it will be considered an excused absence and that student will not be penalized.