Keeping students that contract head lice, also known as ukus, attending classes is not particularly popular with teachers or parents. However, some schools are only improving at managing these cases.

In Palolo Elementary School, ukus was a significant issue for many years, according to local news station Khon2.

However it has gotten much better, and officials from the school believe they have also removed the sigma surrounding infestations.

School Solution

The principal in addition to the school nurse admit that the solution may not work for many other schools, but can help them create a support system for not only the kids, but families too.

The state’s DoE changed their policy during the last school year in order to reduce kids missing time in school.

HSTA, the union for public school teachers in Hawaii, said that it puts educators in quite a bad situation, Khon2 learned.

In Palolo Elementary, a child is encouraged to return to class and not be separated from the rest of the student body.


“Some of them may feel embarrassed,” the principle, Holly Kiyonaga, said. “If they feel embarrassed, there’s a lot of other things we need to take a look at. We have to counsel them, talk to them that they should go back to class.”

Officials in the Palolo Elementary School have had less cases of head lice since they changed their poliies, and did that by supporting students and families.

Staff attempt to avoid giving one student too much focus when they contract ukus.

“Children come up during recess all the time,” school nurse Sherry Tanna said, “so it’s not like everybody knows, ‘Oh my God, she’s going up for ukus’ or ‘he’s going up for ukus.’”