Monday, April 12, 2010

The annual lice letter from school.

Lice. Want some?

Every year it seems as though we send home a note about a kid in the class that has acquired the dreaded disease "lice". When you teach first grade, this note is as inevitable as an upchuck on the rug or watching two kids pick their nose and eating it at the same time.

I have not witnessed them eat each others' buggers... yet.

If you are actually still reading at this point, I have to admit, I am actually a little surprised.

ANYWAY, we have been fortunate to not have required such a lice infested letter during this school year. However, it's only a matter of time.

Generally, the annual lice letter goes something like this:

Dear Parents,

This letter is to inform you that you a student in your child's class has lice. Please check your child's head frequently and be alert blah blah blah etc...

HOWEVER, it does not matter what is actually said in the lice letter, EVERY parent reads it like this:

Dear Parent,
Panic. Panic loudly and any language is appropriate.
Flail your arms around a little. Yeah, that's the way. Good. Your child has lice.

Now, I am not sure if you heard me the first time, YOUR CHILD HAS LICE!
(Well, not for sure, but PROBABLY)

Lice is deadly and the only cure is a tongue depressor. Unfortunately, we have used all the tongue depressors in town to check for lice. Soon you too will have lice and your entire house will be a lice infested carnival without the cotton candy or spinning rides.

Are you itchy yet? Completely revolted? Hold on, we're not done. Here are some things you will need to do to halt the infestation of the nasty vermin to your scalp, head bone and throughout your house:
  • Wash everyone's hair in the entire household in gasoline.
  • Burn your sheets.
  • Burn your furniture.
  • Burn your clothing.
  • Shave off everyone's body hair.
  • Put the pile of body hair in a plastic bag and burn it.
  • Take the ashes and burn them again.
  • Pour battery acid on the re-burnt ashes.
They also make a special shampoo that kills lice that you can buy at your local Walgreens. Unfortunately Walgreens has closed due to parents with lice looking for lice shampoo. All of their employees now have lice. Fortunately, Ride Aid still has some in stock.

Thank you for your understanding regarding this matter. You may now proceed to panic.
No really, your arms aren't flailing enough. GET THOSE ELBOWS UP! Nice. Much better.

Yours truly,

The School that infested your child and ruined your life.

PS: As lice is a sign of poor hygiene and a destitute lifestyle, we urge all those that make less than $20,000 a year to keep your children home for the next couple weeks while we order more tongue depressors.


imbeingheldhostage said...

wow. I have never been happier to live in a country where they think it's a violation of privacy (pronounced PRIV-essey) to alert parents to head lice. I could have a stroke burning all of our furniture and dousing everyone's head in gasoline.

And yes, I do resemble the flailing armed fool you've described when the rumors among parents begin to fly about nits found on heads where my children learn.

Macey said...

There are 2 (two!) girls in our neighborhood who ended up with lice last year.
And the next day they both came to school with BALD heads.
And, yes, they live in our neighborhood, TWO separate households and they aren't the same age or friends!
Maybe they lice were jumping...

Beth Zimmerman said...

Darn Cheese! That's scary! I think my head itches now!

Bossy Betty said...

Hate the lice letter! Hate it! I start scratching my head every time!

Tammy said...

Ewww! I hope I never see this letter! But you are right . . . that is EXACTLY how I would read it!

Pedaling said...

...i may or may not-- have had the kid with the lice....

Traci said...

We just got the second lice letter of the pre-school year last month. I go crazy and start seeing bugs in Paige's hair that are not really there. I have wondered what happens if lice goes untreated, and the carnival idea seems about right to me...

Lisa said...

I was that parent once. :)

See Mom Smile said...

Yes that is exactly what our last lice letter said!

We discovered lice in our daughters hair as we were ending a 36 hour trip in the car, headed towards a house full cousins and family. Good times.

Connie said...

Head lice will soon be a pandemic! There will be a Quarantined sign on the door of everyone who has this curse.

Yeah, we send out the letter from our school each year and have had kids in our classroom who have had the critters jumping from their coat to other coats and chasing us around the room. It's horrible!

Truthfully, it does make my head itch.

Anonymous said...

Hilar! Seriously though, how can you tell the difference from lice and dandruff? I will not be that parent...maybe

Ally said...

I remember being so scared during the LICE exams at school when I was a little girl. Afraid I'd have it and then knowing everyone would find out about it. Luckily I made it through those years w/out little buggies in my scalp :)

Visit me at

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

*shudder* I got lice twice from school when I was a kid.
Maybe that's the REAL reason she decided to homeschool us kids.
Hmmmmm....... said...

I'm guessing the parents also want to know who that one damn kid is who infected the entire school, and how his/her parents could've allowed this travesty to occur. Perhaps that family should go into witness protection.


ScoMan said...

Thanks for stopping by.

A girl I work with got a call from her husband last year about a lice issue.

They'd rung him and she was like "So where is he?" and her husband said "At school".. that was not a satisfactory answer.

He didn't realise lice are like small vampires, so she went bolting out of the office and to the supermarket to get that lice shampoo and then to the school to pick up her kid.

And to the kindergarden to pick up her other kids.

And then she locked them all in a dark room until they were safe.

Okay, so I don't know for sure what happened after she went out the office door, but it seems like something she would do.

Loretta Valenta said...

This made me laugh out loud! I am an assistant at an elementary school and I know the drill. Each time I find out that a letter is being sent home I itch. I even itch when I read blog posts about the "dreaded letter"!! I think I am going to have the school nurse use one of her cherished tongue depressors on me -- just to be sure! :)

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

Wow, I soooo could not handle this parenting thing! You guys have WAY too much to deal with! I can't imagine how I'd react to the "Lice Letter!"

Hey, just wanted to drop by and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog! I really appreciate it! I'm your newest follower! Cheers!!

Nikki said...

Who knew I could laugh and itch at the same time reading a blog post?!

järnebrand said...

First I just want to tell you I read the entire post. Despite the fact my scalp started itching really bad half way through...
We've gotten that letter a couple of times... Once there was an extremely unhappy teenager living in this home with little visitors in her hair... We just couldn't get rid of them soon enough, it seemed. I have to start scratching my head just thinking about them...
Great post. So funny. The teacher in me laughed out loud. The parent in me felt sorry for the kids. No part of me felt sorry for the lice however. :) /Jo.

Hutch said...

Thanks for stopping by! I worked at a Day Camp for many years and the phone calls that followed the lice letter were my least favorite part of the job!

Stephanie said...

LOL I absolutely love it! As the parent to two girls (grades 3 and 6) we get these letters a couple of times a year. They don't faze me much now, except for the immediate reaction of scratching at my own head!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today I'm now your newest follower!

Nancy C said...

I'll never forget my poor high school gym teacher who had to tell us all to boil our gym uniforms because the locker room was infested with...crabs. Shudder.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Yes! this is so, so perfect! I am going to show my coworkers!

FluffyChicky said...

I see that I can make a fortune selling tongue depressors to your district! Awesome!

Lindsey Buck said...

I used to work in a children's hair salon, 'Cookie Cutters'... one day a kid came in with lice. It was Armageddon. The managers were afraid their business would commit suicide and all of the stylists made me scrub everything over and over and over again. That boy was never allowed in again. Segregation, I tell you.

Claudya Martinez said...

Great, now I have to go stop up on gasoline and tongue depressors.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Yeh those letters were bad. I started losing my hair in University so I was shaving my head bald by the time I started teaching. I could alwys say it wasn't me. One of your little 'grubs' was unclean.

If parents knew half the things we talked about in the staff room or that we knew about other kids they would freak out.

Lice is nothing. Wait till you are the parent of the kid who is smearing his poop on everything. A little itching to be part of a viscious tribal culture that is elementary school (seriously..."welcome to the jungle - we got fun and games" as Guns N Roses would sing it) will seem like nothing.

Cheeseboy said...

@ hostage - Your freedom of lice act makes me jealous.

@ MiMi - That is odd. Lice jumping is a sport in 8 countries.

@ Beth - My head is always itching. Even more so with the lice letter.

@ Tammy1 - It's only a matter of time before you get the letter. Sorry.

@ Pedaling - I'm sure my kid will be the lice kid eventually.

@ Traci - Some day Paige really will get lice and the carnival will be all yours.

@ Lisa - Be happy your lice days are behind you.

@ Linda - I commented on your blog, but that is so funny! I would have shaved my kid, even if it were a girl.

@ Connie - I really should separate the coats more in my classroom.

@ BabeeLove - I think lice like jump around or something, but I am not really sure.

@ Ally - the lice exams frightened me too, but I failed scoliosis test twice and that one really freaked me out.

@ Serene - Yes, I believe lice has driven many to home school.

@ Rawkn - Well, their name never gets out, but the kids all know. Lice is no respecter of persons.

@ ScoMan - That is hilarious! What she doesn't know is that lice love the dark.

@ Loretta - Our assistants are in charge of the lice checks, so feel lucky.

@ Naked Man - Parenting is always a joy, especially when their are nasty lice involved.

@ Nikki - I used to be all about making people laugh. Now my posts aim at making people itch.

@ jarnebrand - Thanks. We teachers get used to the itching.

@ Hutch - Oh man, I bet camp letters WOULD be the worst.

@ Modern - The common theme here is that everyone's head is itching.

@ Nancy C- Okay, you win. That is worse.

@ Sara - hope our coworkers like a good lice story.

@ Fluffy - I really did just run out of depressors. No lie.

@ Lindzenna - Ah yes, Cookie Cutters. Know it well. That is really funny. I can see how that could cause a disturbance there.

@ Mami - That is going to be a really strange trip to Target.

@ Cal - HA! That really sucks. I have had to clean up the poop smear when I was a sweeper boy.

Mary said...

It's amazing how accurate your interpretation of the letter is. Since there was 5 kids in my family, it seemed like every year one of us got it...and it still makes me itch! And I'm glad you pointed out that only DIRTY FILTHY scum of the Earth get lice :o)

Queenie Jeannie said...


My oldest daughter got lice once after letting "friends" borrow her brush. What a pain in the freaking butt!!!!! Tons of work for Mom!!!

This was a funny post though.....she said as she reached for the cootie spray...

Tammy said...

I am surprised to see so many people commenting here have actually had a personal experience with lice. It must be more common than I thought. Seriously, if my child came home with lice I would have to move out of my house . . . forever . . . and our family would take nothing with us. It goes back to the whole hypochondriac thing. I would forever feel like there are lice on everything in my house!

NerdyRedneck Rob said...

You forgot the paragraph in the 'interpreted' version of the letter where you assure the parents that in accordance with their wishes the Spanish inquisition will be resuming until the dirty leper who started the lice plague is identified and they and their entire family is executed for being such a threat to community health and safety!

Anonymous said...

LOL. You are too funny! If everyone who made less than 20k kept their kids home from school, I'd have the day off because that would be every kid!

Cheeseboy said...

Wow, probably a NEW record for most comments I have ever received...

@ Mary - Well, I am pretty sure we had lice in my family growing up too. Fortunately, my boys haven't got it yet.

@ Queenie - I hope your daughter's friend is her friend no more. Friends don't let friends use each others brushes.

@ Tammy (again) - I'm telling you Tam, I don't know what the percentages are, but I bet it is well over 80% of families with kids get lice at some point. It is only a matter of time.

@ Nerdy - Oh yeah... forgot about that. It will be in the email newsletter though.

@ FabuLeslie - You should pray for a lice outbreak then!

Teachinfourth said...

I have not laughed this hard at a blog in quite a while.

I think I need to go to the bathroom now.

Rieshy said...

Thank you for the laugh. I'm still rather twitchy from my last lice letter- 10 years ago.

Betty's corner of the world said...

Your post was soo true and sooo funny ..LOL LOL LOL
I remember bringing "the letter" home to my Mom ..and I remember my daughter bringing "the letter" home to me ( her hair was long to her butt ) .. her letter came with a tiny comb.
I'm a grandma now... many times over the lice thing is not a big deal ... just use the killer shampo and move on
Wait till your kid brings home "scabies"!! with that you really want to burn the sheets... and you do have to wash everything in the house .. at least the lice live on the head .. the "scabies bugs" live under the skin!