'Super lice' outbreak hits 25 states, Midland parents question school lice policy

'Super lice' outbreak hits 25 states, Midland parents question school lice policy

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Parents are urging Midland Independent School District (MISD) administrators to update head lice treatment policies following the recent outbreak of a mutated strain dubbed "super lice."

Infestations of the new, largely treatment-resistant insect have been reported in 25 states, including Texas.

Like regular lice, super lice are spread through direct contact with the hair of an infested individual, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, Midland public schools continue allowing students with head lice to attend class, district spokesperson Woodrow Bailey confirmed Tuesday.

"What happened to the good old days where they checked everyone's head [during] an outbreak and sent the infested kids home?" an MISD mother asked.

Another parent said she "[does] not even feel safe" sending her kids to school with the current head lice policies.

MISD adheres to a recommendation issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Bailey explained.

The district does so by choice; there is no statute in Texas addressing the exclusion of children with head lice from school.

"DSHS does not have authority to impose a set policy regarding head lice on districts," state health officials said. "DSHS does, however, urge school districts to ensure that its policy does not cause children to miss class unnecessarily or encourage the embarrassment and isolation of students who suffer from repeated head lice infestations... Lice are not a public health threat."