Right after school started, a 2nd-grader came into my office saying that her teacher wanted me to check her hair. I wanted to pretend I didn't see the nits, but I couldn't do that, and tried to break the news as gently as I could that I'd have to send her home. Her lips started trembling and her eyes welled up as she cried, "But...It's the Valentine's Day party today." I called her mom, who asked me to check her sister as well while she made her way to the school to pick her daughter up. Sure enough, her sister had nits too: bye bye girls.
An hour or so later, Ms. Meanie marched a student down to my office to show me some nits in her hair. I don't know how closely she is looking at students during class, but she had to look REALLY closely to find the very few remaining in this student's hair. She cheerfully reminded me that we have a "no-nit" policy, and practically danced her way out of my office. She, of course, would not be around to hear the parent screaming at the front office when they came to retrieve their daughter.
Sweetie 1 came with her mom to my office a short time after that, and although I had to examine her closely, there were still nits: I had no choice but to send her home, particularly so because she's in Ms. Meanie's class - if there is a single nit, that teacher will find it, no matter how much dandruff it's camoflauged in. The mom suddenly became emotional, for the first time since I've been dealing with her, and her kiddos, telling me that she's having an issue with the teacher. I urged her to say something to the principal, because the little girls won't speak up for themselves and it is totally unfair the way the teacher is singling her daughter out. I felt terrible sending her home again, but at least I was able to give her a little Valentine's Day something I had brought for her.
The first sisters that came into my office returned just in time for the party, thanks to a mom who was determined to comb out the nits in time for them to attend. An impressive feat, for sure, but I know the problem will continue to not be taken care of in the home.
To pour some salt into my wounds, I heard from my boss that the union somehow got themselves involved and intends to fight any potential policy change. Don't ask me why, but the implication is that I will be forced to continue to enforce the absurd no-nit policy probably forever, breaking kids' hearts right and left when I forbid them from hanging out with their classmates, and letting the schools lose loads of money to unexcused absences. I miss the days when my biggest problems were my diabetics - at least that is a serious medical issue.