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Wilson County School Faces Outbreak Of Head Lice

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WILSON — Last month, several schools in Wilson County were dealing with ashigellosisoutbreak. Now, another school is trying to get a handle onhead lice.

For the past couple of weeks, the tiny parasite has been a real nuisance atSpringfield Middle School, a brand-new campus that opened just two months ago in western Wilson County. School leaders are checking students for signs of lice every morning.

"It's a new board policy this year, and it's pretty specific," says principal Glenn Reeves. "A child does have to be nit-free in order to return to school, and we've aggressively pursued that."

A few kids have missed up to four or five days of class, but the school says it is necessary to stop the spread. Head lice can travel from person to person on furniture, clothing and anything made of cloth.

This is not the first health issue the Wilson County school system has had to tackle this year. Since the beginning of the school year, more than 100 children have come down withshigellosis, a highly-contagious intestinal disease.

Administrators say students say no child should not fall behind because of either outbreak.

"If these are the largest problems the schools have to deal with, they're really insignificant," says Bob Kendall, spokesman for Wilson County Schools. "The teachers and the principals are used to things like this, and education goes on at the same pace that it did before."

Wilson health officials say the key to handling both problems is cooperation from parents at home. They want parents to teach their children to wash their hands.

Parents should also check their children's hair occasionally for nits, the little capsules that protect the eggs of head lice.


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