What should I do? Doctor or no doctor?

Emilie - posted on 04/01/2010 ( 60 moms have responded )

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I hate my sons teacher. She wanted me to pick him up from school today because he has a dry flaky scalp. I guess she thinks there is some thing wrong with him. I said they are only in school half a day, By the time I got dressed and got up there it will be almost time for him to come home anyway. She said he cannot return to school without a doctors note. .

That is so crazy!! It is just Dandruff!! . I will look stupid If I take him to the doctor about dandruff. This is just stupid. I am not going to be embarassed by a doctor because of her. It is already embarassing enough that she looked through his head with gloves on. I have dandruff, I have had it for years. I have asked the doctor about my own head a few years ago, he said to use dandruff shampoo. I think it will be a waist of gas and time and money to take him to the doctor. What would you do?

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Iridescent - posted on 04/01/2010

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Get it in writing that your teacher is requiring you to take him to the doctor before allowing him to return to class and why. Take him to the doctor. Then bring the bill to the school with the note from the teacher. Have a meeting with the principle and teacher and tell them you expect them to pay it, as it was for a totally unnecessary issue, not in the school policy (dandruff, seriously! even lice they won't send home for), and you expect a different reaction in the future.

Rebeca - posted on 04/02/2010

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report her to the principal..... she has humiliated your son and has wasted your time......

[deleted account]

See if you can find something called Olive Creme in a beauty supply shop.. it's wonderful medicine.. full of vitamins!
and as far as that teacher goes, I would start climbing the chain of command. I would talk to the principal, and if he didn't say what I wanted to hear, I would call the school board. If they don't say what you want to hear... call a lawyer. They can't throw your child out of school for DANDRUFF... and btw... dandruff looks NOTHING like lice... I would try to find out what this teacher's problem is, why they haven't been educated about what lice looks like and maybe look at transferring the child to a better teacher. And I would make NO bones about telling the principal you want a BETTER teacher.

Amber - posted on 04/01/2010

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If you make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it to his head twice a week it will help clear up the dandruff. That teacher was way out of line if she already knew it wasn't lice before she called you. I wouldn't make an unnecessary trip to the doctor on her account.

Debbie-Marie - posted on 04/01/2010

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Your right, there is a distinct difference between dandruff and headlice. I recommend speaking to the principal of your son's school. Schools have an inclusive policy now and that means that no child should be separated or singled out from other students as it damages the childs self-esteem. Ask about your schools inclusive policy, their policy of headlice and if teachers are allowed to check students hair. I know in public schools teachers are not allowed to check students hair for lice. If there is a concern then they should have admin. call the parent. Explain to them how this experience has made you feel and demand that something is done about it so it doesn't happen again. I know head lice is a serious problem and there are alot of myths out there about how it is spread and treated. My daughter and I both suffer from dry scalp. My hairdresser told me to stop using the 2in1 shampoos for her (she wanted the girlie 2in1) as this contributes to dry scalp. She is now using a slightly pricey brand designed for dandruff (after trying a couple of cheaper brands) and it is working beautifully. Try different brands until you find one that works and chat to your hairdresser. Good luck!

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60 Comments

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Blackwood - posted on 03/16/2011

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Just go to Doc's explain that the teacher sent him home for you believe is dandruff and that inorder for him to return she wants a doc's note. If anything he will give you the note and maybe a prescribed shampoo that would work better. And ask him too put in the note that your son can return to school becuz his medical condition is dandruff (as if it's a medical condition to be sent home for, lol). Give the note to the teacher and point out I asked him too put in the note that it's dandruff so that way you wouldn't have to worry it was something harmful to the other children and it's now on this school records for further children that may be concern. (I'm sure the teacher wasnt' trying to be mean, but isn't aware of dandruff). She won't bother you again and in the end it's done with. This is just my advise but admittely I a bit of a smart ass and would do this just too prove a point.

Bonnie - posted on 03/16/2011

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Take your son to the doctor, get a letter saying it's just dandruff, & then write a letter to your son's principal. Also, depending on where you are, no teacher is allowed to go through your child's hair without your permission (just check you didn't sign anything in the enrolment forms first).

Stephanie - posted on 04/14/2010

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Talk to the principal. And if he suggests a note than visit the Doc.
If you want to try a new shampoo there is a shampoo made by Mustela its a foam shampoo used for cradle cap I still use it with my 4 yr old. a little gentler than head and shoulders.

Mustela.com ( you can purchase it at Nordstrom and Babies R Us)

Info: Foam shampoo for newborns

Main Ingredients

Gently cleanses hair and scalp with its gentle washing base containing coconut extracts.
Respects the delicate balance of the scalp in newborns, and prevents skin from drying.
Helps remove cradle cap and prevent its development with the exfoliating action of salicylic acid.
Acts on the major causes of cradle cap development and helps limit fungi proliferation.
Does not sting the eyes, does not run into eyes with its foam texture, easy to rinse.
Hypoallergenic - specially formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
Tested under dermatological control.
5.07 FL. OZ.
Suggested Retail Price $11.50

Hope this helps

Elizabeth - posted on 04/11/2010

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Try warming a little coconut oil, parting the child's hair and applying this in the parting with a cotton bud. Do this all over the head and then massage it in. Warm a towel and wrap it over the head and leave for 10 mins. And then wash as usual. Use baby shampoo for the first few washes and then perhaps a dandruff oriented one for a couple of times and u shd be rid of the problem.

Cathy - posted on 04/10/2010

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Take him to the doctor - preferably a dermatologist. My son had "dandruff" for years; we tried every shampoo available with no improvement. It turns out he has a severe type of psoriasis; the scales get so bad that he can't run a comb through his hair. He is on a medicated shampoo and having some improvement, but will go back to the doctor for a follow up. btw, he's 32 now. Forget about you being embarassed! Think of how he feels and validate those feelings with a visit to the doctor.

Jo - posted on 04/08/2010

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definately get a note for the dr from the teacher and bring the bill in with you

Niamh - posted on 04/08/2010

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if it is dandruff he may well be unfortable so it would do no harm to get a shampoo from doctor that is suitable for his age. Get to cert and have him go back to school. It does sound however that your sons teacher is overreacting. If you really don't like her Does your Son like her and has he many friends at the school. if no to all of these find a different school. either way you need to tell this teacher that your difficulties with her behavior in a reasonable manner. For me the money or gas or my embarrassment would not be my concern but my son's well being and how he is cared for in school is paramount. I am after all handing over the responsibility of the most precious thing I have into the care of someone else an i need to be utmost happy about this.

Nichole - posted on 04/07/2010

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First off, no teacher is gonna send a child home for flakes in their hair ,,,, obvisbly she is not a very smart teacher.....Secondly i would take your child to the doctor and tell you doctor , what the teacher said and have you doctor right her a note stating that their is no problem with a lil dandruff and explain to her every child has.... its not embaraessing hopes this helps

Emilie - posted on 04/07/2010

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His school does not have a school nurse, I am sending him to school tomorrow. It is the first day back after spring break. He has been out for almost a week for spring break and I have shaved his head. He head is better now. I am not sure weather it was build up from gel and shampoo and such or dandruff but his head looks fine. I did not take him to the doctor. If the teacher says anything tomorrow when I take him, I will go to the principal. Thank you all for your imput.

Kellie - posted on 04/07/2010

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I am a public school teacher and teachers are not allowed to make a child stay home for just any reason. In fact, schools don't get paid unless students are present. Children with lice may not return until the school nurse has checked their head, but flakes in hair should be no problem what so ever! She may be concerned, but she does not have the right to keep him from his education! I would definitely talk to the principal about this! Good luck!

Donna - posted on 04/07/2010

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Do you have a school nurse. if yes contact her. Our school nurse have been a great help.

[deleted account]

I would take him to the dr's, get a note to prove it's dandruff and give her a copy. I'm sure she means well, she's just playing safe to make sure it doesnt affect the other children if it is something else.

Completely understand the inconvenience.

Mandy - posted on 04/05/2010

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Not sure what the teacher thinks it is. I worked in childcare for many years and never sent a child home for flaky scalp. Head lice looks nothing like dandruff. They have policies to adhere to so I'm afraid your going to have to play ball with her. It may be an embarrassment and a waste of time for you to go to a doctor but then it will keep the school/teacher happy. I would just explain to the doctor what happened and get him to write a note to say what it is and it isn't contageous. Most doctors will just laugh at the school. It also might be a good idea to go on the school committe or at least go to a meeting so you can discuss your concerns or speak to the principle if things get worse with your son's teacher.

Rita - posted on 04/05/2010

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Yes it will be very inconvenient and a waste of time and gas to take your son to the doctor for a note to explain that he only has dandruff. However, I believe the teacher has to be certain that it is only dandruff and that's her job to make sure that every child, including herself, are safe. You know it's dandruff because your his mother and you take care of him. Maybe she or he doesnt know forsure. I would probably be upset (at first) like you but I would just explain to the doctor that you know it's dandruff but had to come anyway to get the note so your son could go back to school. I'm sure the doctor will understand and wont think your stupid at all. Best of luck to you and your son!

[deleted account]

homeshool and bypass the intrusions all together or get over it and fall in line with the mandatory school policies. No genuine Dr. is going to belittle you if you explain the situation. I really think you are worked up because you feel controlled.

Nicole - posted on 04/05/2010

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You can bypass the teacher and speak to the principal of the school and ask him/her what the schools official policy on dandruff is. I am sure if they have half of a functioning brain this request will be dismissed. If not I guess you can just call your doctor and ask him/her if it is imparative to bring your child in for a dandruff note, if it is your childs regular doctor they should write it and mail it to you. Hope this helped.

Delia - posted on 04/04/2010

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The school should have policies regarding what may not be brought to school i.e. communicable diseases and contagious illnesses.
Doesn't sound like either to me. Perhaps direct the teachers attention to this part of your handbook (or district policy) and certainly speak to the director/principal.
If she wants to take on the role of school nurse, she'll need to better educate herself.
Could it be cradle cap? That's actually a cute name for something which can continue on into childhood.The flakes hang on more to the hair follicles rather than flaking off like dandruff. At any rate, the doctor obviously can help make an accurate diagnosis, and then you'll have something to talk about with the teacher and principal./

Connie - posted on 04/03/2010

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how did this make your son feel?sound's like she might have it in for you.if you can't get it ,worked out between you,i'de go to admissition.your son's edu. is so much more important.try to use a leave in conditoner garnier make's a good one.

Aicha - posted on 04/03/2010

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Have you tried dandruff shampoo? If it isn't working it might be Psoriasis of the scalp My sister has it and nothing works to control the flakes it is were the skin grows to fast .
You should at least call the doctor and describe the condition

Karen - posted on 04/02/2010

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I was an elementary/middle school teacher for ten years. As a teacher, I never had the authority to send a child home for any reason!!!. If there was a concern, the child was sent to the office; the office decided. The teacher does not have the authority to tell you that your child cannot come back to school.

As for the issue of lice, it does happen. I have had students in my class with it. I had it once during my elementary school years after I went to summer camp. It is extremely contagious. Just because a child has it doesn't necessarily reflect on you as a parent, IT IS NOT BECAUSE THE PARENTS ARE DIRTY OR NEGLECTFUL. Any child can get lice and it can be challenging to get rid of; parents just need to be dilligent to get rid of it.

I am sure this have been frustrating, embarassing, and annoying. Just to give you piece of mind, if you have a close friend that is a hair stylist or nurse, ask them to look at your son's head. They can help you decide if you should take your child to the doctor to have his head checked.

Emily - posted on 04/02/2010

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If you hate his teacher, and so would I and I bet your child senses her dislike in him as well. Since your child is half day I take it that he is very young. I would complain to the school about her and request that my child get moved to another classroom. Your child has a right to an education !

Anna - posted on 04/02/2010

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I'm with Rebecca report her to the principal and if it continues to be a problem I would try going up the food chain. the least she couldve done was taken him somewhere private idf she was bound and determined to humiliate the poor child

Rebecca - posted on 04/02/2010

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I also just read your last comment- sorry I didn't see it before. This teacher needs a sensitivity pill! In Australia, we are not allowed to look in a child's hair- but if it is spotted we must ring home straight away as it is so contagious. Doing this in a hallway shows a lack of empathy and also bullying tactics. Ask for your child to change classes if it is this bad- if not, maybe a fresh start elsewhere if this is at all possible.

Rebecca - posted on 04/02/2010

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As a teacher, I can understand that she is probably worried about headlice- it is so contagious and can infect anyone around your child. Also as a teacher, she cannot discriminate against your child and say they cannot return- speak to the principal first before taking your child out of school. As a mum, you say you hate your child's teacher. Has this teacher done anything else to upset you? If so, talk to her about it first as it may be a simple understanding that can be quickly resolved. If it is more than this I would again approach the principal with your concerns.

Emilie - posted on 04/02/2010

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His head wasn't even all that bad. I put mayonaise in his hair 1 time. I washed his hair with head and shoulders and put tea tree oil on his head. It is pretty much gone now. We have had trouble with his teacher before about other stuff. I think she dosen't like us for some reason and wants to find something to cause trouble about. He is already being picked on in school now after this he will be probably picked on worse. She put on rubber gloves and took him into the hallway for all other kids and teachers that was passing by to see. That was yesterday, he didn't go to school today and next week is spring break, so we have a few days beforw we have to deal with her again.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/02/2010

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I hate to say it, but it sounds like she doesn';t like you either. I would simply go to the Dr....no need to be embarrassed...tell him the situation...then go to the principal with it...and creme her from there. Since she has already made such a big deal about it, the principal really should stand behind her decision just simply for the other kids safety. You would feel the same way if it was someone elses kid and you didn't understand why his head looked flakey. No parents want a battle with lice. You know the truth, the Dr. will know the truth...now you just need the truth to be presented properly.

Dana - posted on 04/02/2010

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wow. Sounds like the teacher is being over-reactive worrying about lice. I understand some schools are having problems with this right now. I would talk to the principal. My sons had flaky scalps for years that looked like the cradle cap from when they were babies and no teacher ever said anything. Be sure to go in calm, with your points written down if you need to. Stay on topic and make it about the actions the teacher is taking so it doesn't look like a personal attack. Good luck!!

Emilie - posted on 04/02/2010

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His school does not have a school nurse. I don't think she should have done what she did, I will defantly talk to her and tell her how much she embarassed us. I have used head and shoulders and tea tree oil and it is already looking alot better.

Kathi - posted on 04/02/2010

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i would report her to higher administration. every one has dandroff just some has it worse than others. it isn't contagous. if higher administration dont nip it in the butt then i would disenroll.

Billie - posted on 04/02/2010

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There is a shampoo called Psoriasis. It really has helped curing the winter when dry scalp is the worse on me. Hope this was of some help.

Susan - posted on 04/02/2010

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How old is your son? If he is under two, he probably has cradle cap. Go to the baby asile and get the oil and brush for this condition and it should go away. If he is over the age of two, try Nizorol.You can get it in the shampoo asile and it should take care of your son's condition. He probably has seroberic dermitius cause by a sensitivity to the fungus, which lives in the seabom. No biggie, but there is no reason why you shouldn't treat it. However, after you do that, I would lodge a discrimination complaint with the director or principal at the school.

Rowan - posted on 04/02/2010

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your sons teacher cant tell the difference between dandruff and lice? speak to the principle and maybe suggest that in future she take you to one side and talk to you rather than embarrass your son like that! T-gel is good for dandruff but im not sure if theres a childrens version, best of luck!x

Jessica - posted on 04/02/2010

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First off, I really dont think the teacher has the right to determine what is worthly of sending your son home for. I would get a hold of the school nurse and see what her stand is. Dandruff is not a health risk. Seems like she's just a little anal to me.

Brandi - posted on 04/02/2010

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If you really feel that way than mabey sitting down with the teacher and talking to her or if its that bad finding a new school..If you really want your kid to not have to transfer schoold because of that reasaon that i would just take him to the doctors an get a note to make the teacher feel better.even though i would be upset if i were you and i do understand your frustration. good luck hope all goes well.

Jackie - posted on 04/02/2010

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she is making a big deal or of nothing and should apologize to the student for the embarassment caused. It was very unnecessary and a waste of time.too address the issue at however there is a shampoo by jason brand that seems to work very well if you have a clarks store near by they sell it there

[deleted account]

Very silly i do agree but don't be embarrassed Emilie, just explain your son cant return because of this problem the school has with his scalp and your doctor will understand its not you being crazy.

I think its school policy if the see this stuff the have to have it cleared as a non health treat to other children catching it etc and its dandruff but the have to have the doctors note to rule it has just that,and to have it on record.



I had it for years as a kid and it calmed down by its self i tried loads of stuff to clear it and nothing for me worked.

Amber - posted on 04/02/2010

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You need to pursue this higher up the food chain. She already knows that it's not lice so at this point it's harrassment. The only reason to seek medical treatment is if he has a skin condition that's causing him discomfort and that's YOUR call.

Even if it had been lice, you don't need a doctor's note to go back to school. The school nurse checks before they go back to class. That's what they did with my son when he was sent home after they found one bug that he picked up the first week of school. They only checked him because he was scratching like crazy and I checked with a metal lice comb and found one more so he had obviously just caught them. Regardless, the teacher and nurse were respectful to my son and I. They are professionals and believe me, they've already worked with dozens of louse infested kids (from ALL types of backgrounds) it's just a fact of life with school age children.
I recomend investing in metal (not plastic) lice comb from the drug store. In all probability he will catch them at some point, and if you check on a regular basis then you'll know before they reproduce and get rid of them before the school finds them. My daughter also caught them and gave them to all of us a few years before that (watch out for parents who will send their kids for sleepovers knowing that their kids have them.) I spent hundreds of dollars on toxic shampoos which don't kill all of them, and cut my waist length hair before finding the metal comb which will get rid of them by combing at least twice a day - no shampoo needed. Now I check everyone twice a week and have had no problem since. I also check any child sleeping over, and treated like a matter of fact part of life that could happen to anybody no matter how clean, nobody has taken offense and they all have a good time.

Casey - posted on 04/02/2010

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Are you sure it was the teacher and not the nurse? I'm a teacher, and I would never give out medical advice to a parent, because it's not my area of expertise. Our nurse calls parents if she thinks there is a problem. I don't know what the protocol is at all schools, though.

Jennifer - posted on 04/02/2010

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Unfortunately, if the school is demanding a note from the doctor I don't see much choice. Depending on your sones age, dandruff shampoo, tea tree oil, or perhaps even a little baby oil. My beatutician suggested we soak my daughters hair in olive/cooking oil once a week, put a shower cap over it, and leave it in for an hour or two. I have made several wastful trips to the doctor, costing me gas and copay money, for no good reason just to appease the school district, so I feel your dilemma.

Abbie - posted on 04/02/2010

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I'd be calling the principal to talk about this. This is insane, and she needs to be addressed!! I wouldn't take him to the doctor. Unless this is very servere! Then yes something needs to be done, but usually over the counter stuff works.

Kandy - posted on 04/02/2010

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I would have the school nurse check him out then request a meeting with the principal and the teacher. Its outrageous to take him to the doctor for that, or even lice if thats the case. Both problems can be treated with over the counter products bought from your local drug store for a lot less than it would cost for an unneccesary trip to the doctors office.

Donna - posted on 04/01/2010

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In the first place a teacher cannot send your child home. It has to be the principal or the school nurse. If she thought he had something she should have sent him to the nurse. You don't say how old your son is.In older children it can just be hormones causing the scalp to be dry. My son went through this.I bought dandruff shampoo which did not do much good. Then I tried shampoo for dry scalp and that helped.Speak to his principal about this.

Rose - posted on 04/01/2010

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I work in a school and we cannot even send students home any longer if they have lice. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that she chose to send him home because of dandruff. I would definitely take this up with the principal. Also, as a teacher, we don't have the right to demand teacher notes. That is just ridiculous.

Emily - posted on 04/01/2010

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I would take him to a doctor... if the doctor's note says "It's just dandruff," the teacher will be the one embarassed, not you.

On another note though, dandruff can be a really embarassing problem for kids, and you may want to get it treated just so that he won't be picked on or feel uncomfortable.

Melissa - posted on 04/01/2010

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Can I ask why the teacher is making the call on wether or not your child can come to school? I was a teacher before I decided to be a SAHM and the school nurse is the only one that could make decision on medical issues. If it's dandruff than I would talk to the principle, your child's teacher may be over stepping her boundries and doesn't have the authority to tell you that your child can't come back to school. Now if it was the school nurse than they are normally RNs and they know what they are talking about and obviously has a concern. Hope this helps.

Emilie - posted on 04/01/2010

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When My twin sister and I were in 8th grade they sent my sister home from school because they thought she had lice. The teacher called my mom and told her that my sister had lice. My mom went to the drug store to buy the lice medication and checked my sisters head before she bought it, and my sister did not have lice, it was dandruff. My mom was going to take my sister back to school and tell the prinipal what happened but my sister was to embarassed to go back to school that day.

Lyndsay - posted on 04/01/2010

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I would just take him to a walk-in clinic and get them to write a note, then I would photocopy it for future use if she ever pulls this stunt again. If she says he can't come back to school without a doctors note then you don't really have a choice, unless you want to pull him out of school completely. The teacher is probably afraid its nits, or eggs of lice. Kids get sent home for that all the time.

Tracy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I would take him to the Dr., have him write a note to the school, then request a meeting with the princepal and the teacher. I had that happen, my daughter had a stye, n the teacher insisted that it was pink eye, so I got a note from the dr. (she was prone to stye's when she was small) n then set a meeting up, the teacher ended up looking like a fool, and finally apoligized, after the principal did for the inconvienance they caused me and my daughter, I know sometimes they mean well, but there is a huge difference between lice and dandruff, and it sounds like this teacher is just going overboard, and you wont look stupid if you explain to the Dr. what is going on.....

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