A new school district policy on head lice has the teachers' union president scratching his head over why his group wasn't consulted.
The Kamloops-Thompson School District sent out a draft policy change last week for dealing with head lice to principals and parent advisory committees.
But the union wasn't alerted of the possible change for teacher input, asked Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association president Jason Karpuk.
"The way you find out if it's actually practical is to talk to the people who have to implement it," he said.
The policy gives principals a bit more leverage in their ability to keep students at home if they've had head lice.
Problems arose because some students' families were not effective in eradicating their children's head lice, leading to a cycle of infection and re-infection in the school.
Giving principals the authority to keep kids home until Interior Health nurses can make sure all signs of lice and nits are gone will ease that problem, said Supt. Terry Sullivan.
Karpuk said the issue is the latest policy decision that didn't include prior teacher union consultation despite bringing up the perceived flaw in the process. With the KTTA's involvement, teachers would be surveyed leading to a truer scope of the policy's feasibility, he said.
"It has buy-in because everybody's been part of it and it's more practical because the people that have to implement it have said, 'Yeah, that's possible' or 'No, that's impossible and we need to find a different avenue.'"
Assistant Supt. Karl deBruijn refuted the notion that the KTTA isn't consulted over new policies.
The KTTA is welcome to give its input once the policy is sent out in draft form and a notice of motion comes to the school board. At that point, he said, the public has two weeks to comment.
"They're more than welcome to have input on it," said deBruijn.
Besides, this particular policy has very little to do with teachers or the union, he said.
"The KTTA itself is a political body that doesn't have anything to do with implementing that policy. And teachers haven't participated in head lice checks in at least a decade."