Randall School Board discards 3-day notice for comments; lice policy changes delayed

Citizens wishing to speak at a Randall School Board meeting will no longer have to give notice three days in advance after a change in policy approved unanimously Wednesday night.

But a decision on changing the head lice policy was postponed after some spirited discussion among board members.

Those wishing to speak during the citizens comments portion of the agenda will now be able to sign-up at the meeting. Citizens comments will now take place after the business manager’s portion of the meeting near the end of the typical meeting.

The old policy required a citizen to give notice of their intent to speak at the meeting three days in advance. Citizens comments also used to be at the beginning of meetings.

Administration, based on earlier board discussions, had prepared a new head lice policy.

As the lice policy came up for consideration, board member Randy Nolan, who said he was not present for the earlier discussion, questioned a provision of the new policy that calls for a student after being detected with head lice to be isolated from the student population until they can be picked up by a parent or caregiver. Nolan went on to call the changes a step backward and not based on scientific research on how lice are transmitted. Nolan said he is concerned that the new policy needlessly alienates students with head lice.

“There’s always a way to do it without alienating the student,” Nolan said.

But supporters of the change pointed out that there is strong community support for a new lice policy, citing a 300-signature petition that was once submitted to the board on the issue.

“The community doesn’t want live lice in this school,” said board member Jan Brockway. “It does get spread.”

Ultimately, the board decided to delay a decision on the lice policy until after it determines whether a question on lice policy could be included in a community survey the board would like to do on a number of school issues.



  1. isolated decision making says:

    If board members are not willing to listen to comments at the agenda item point, they are missing a chance to interface with those they represent. Limit the amount of time that can be used in comments but allow a person to speak before a vote is taken. Having comments after the fact is like closing the meeting and then saying “Now what was it you wanted to tell me?” The content of the meeting is what is important, not the shortness of it. Expend the time needed to make an informed decision

    To not wish to hear input is poor representation. Those who attend a meeting, do so because they have an interest, may not be able to contact the board in whole or by individual and may have found by experience that some board members may not carry the offered concepts forward to the others.

    If Randall wants to be progressive, they should be open, willing to listen and learn and then to know that they acted with as much info as possible being available to them.

    This is very important at school board levels, where education is so important and tax dollars are so great. A balance between those who have students in school and those who dont should be found, acknowledged and considered.

  2. Parents of the Randall School are fortunate to have the insight of board member Randy Nolan. As mentioned, there’s no objective justification to isolate a student. Quarantines and exclusions for head lice are based purely on misinformation and fear.

  3. Randall resident says:

    I believe the current board is making great strides towards open communication and being transparent with the community. The board before this one would not make it a point to listen to the public and now that is changing fo the better. With the 3 day notice being lifted that is progress!! As for the lice policy…that is also a community opinion that we do not want live lice in our schools. Dr. Pollack…things are very different from a lab setting then a school setting. Please step out of your lab setting into real life… a classroom and see how close items are together and then tell me it does not spread. The fear only sits with people as yourself that only live in a lab situation and not real life.

  4. Joan Edelstein says:

    As a school nurse who has been Health Services Coordinator for a school District of over 49,000 students, I am well aware of community concerns. However, I am also well aware of the fact that there is absolutely no health risk from live head lice or nits. Although there is a good deal of research demonstrating that students identified as having lice are at much greater risk of being bullied. Superintendent Nolan has apparently done his homework. Our district changed to a no exclusion policy several years ago and there was no increase in head lice among the students. The school nurses did a great deal of educating staff, parents, children and the community. Students, especially in the younger grades, should avoid head to head contact as that is generally the way head lice are spread.

  5. To Randall resident: You assume (and quite incorrectly) that my experiences and comments are somehow restricted to lab-based exercises. Had you done your homework, you’d learn that I’ve done mine. Indeed, I’ve visited schools across the nation (and abroad), and examined for head lice more than 10,000 children. I’ve also had head lice feed upon me so I could maintain them for study. So, I think this does qualify as ‘real life’. Finally, you speak of some fear that affects me. What fear is that? The only fear I perceive it that of parents (and perhaps some school personnel) who are burdened with mininformation that they likely acquired when they were children. It is time to reexamine new findings and make informed decisions based upon the best information available. I invite you to read the information and guidance on my website. This might be insightful to many.

  6. Another concerned citizen says:

    As a parent, I do not want my child sitting next to another child with live lice! I don’t care if it’s not a “health” risk, it is still a huge nuisance and can be expensive to treat and completely remove from the house and the child. Have you people ever watched children play together or how they interact in a classroom? Kids touch heads together constantly whether or not they are warned to avoid head contact with one another. I know my child would be horrified to have to sit in a classroom one they found out they had live. I can guarantee he/she would not be able to concentrate on school work or anything else until the lice were removed. It is also unfortunate but there are parents who dont care if their child has lice and with this new policy, they no longer have to treat their kids because they are allowed back in school. I’m thankful Randall has a school board that is finally willing to listen to parents. For years, the board and administration has run the school with a dictator like attitude and parents have been without a voice. I think the recent board elections have shown that parents are tired of not being heard and I for one am thankful that this new board is willing to listen.

  7. Randall resident says:

    “Another concerned citizen” I could not agree more…about your views on the lice and also for the current Randall school board!!! It’s about time Randall school has board members that want to hear the community views.

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