WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

It's a pesky problem for lots of area students and their parents is being handled a different way this year.

Washington County, Tennessee has changed how it treats students with head lice.

Students used to be sent home, but we discovered, that's not necessarily the case now, and that has some parents scratching their heads.

Head lice is a problem that creeps into many schools every year.  
School employees in Washington County Tennessee routinely check student's heads for signs of the bugs, but what happens when they find them changed this year?

Assistant Director of Schools Bill Flanary said, "If a child has lice, the child can stay untill the end of the day, and then the child is excluded until such time as they can prove there has been treatment."

In the past all students with signs of lice, even those with traces of eggs or egg casings were set home for treatment.

The Washington County School Board relaxed the policy over the summer at the urging of the state and Center's For Disease Control.

Flanary went on to say, "they feel like having the child in school is more important than having them free of dead egg casings."

We spoke with several parents and grandparents who all disagree with the new policy.

Michael West, a father, had this to say on the policy change, "Knowing the fact that they are not going to send our kids home to get properly treated is kind of concerning."

Parents say cutting back the number of students required to receive treatment is only promoting the spread of a problem that knows no boundaries.

"It can promote the spread, without proper treatment, even seeing your physician its not just going to magically go away", West added.

Assistant Director of Schools Bill Flanary told News 5 lice is not the problem it once was several years ago. And as for the new policy, it is still a wait and see to find out the new policy reduces, or increases, the amount of cases.

We also checked with Johnson City Schools, and a spokeswoman told us, they are aware of the state and CDC recommendations.

Johnson City Schools policy is to leave the decision to the individual school principal, if a child should be sent home.