When I was young there was a Nit Nurse, affectionately referred to as Nitty Nora, Hair Explorer. She visited all the schools on a regular basis, lining up the kids and examining each head In turn, sending you to the right if you were ‘clean’ and to the left if you were ‘infested’. Those on the right went back to class those on the left were sent home with a note, or kept at school, quarantined until hometime.
Now all is ‘anti-shame’, no one must be embarrassed or singled out. So there is no ‘Nitty Nora, and when a girl in my daughters class was noticed to have lice crawling in her hair – noticed by the children may I add not by her mum or the teachers! – she was not singled out, not spoken to and not sent home, she spent the rest of the day chasing the other kids around, laughing and trying to give them lice!
So is one better than the other? Did either eradicate headlice, not really I guess, and maybe it’s just me, a middle aged woman nostalgic for the past, but I miss the Nit Nurse and all the shame that went with it, the fear in the pit of your stomach as you drew near the front of the line, would you be sent left, or right, the exploring fingers, the tension, the horror of being sent home! (or the joy of being pronounced ‘clean’) I somehow miss it all……
Oh and the best bit – the comment from my daughter of course!
“you should have seen them mum, they were as big as WOODLICE!!”