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When Nora was in fourth grade she went to a sleepover at one of her friend's houses AND, although she didn't know it, her friend had lice at the time. Nora didn't bring her own pillow to her friends house, why would she, and so she borrowed one off her friend's bed. Of course, there were lice and lice eggs in the pillow, and they just marched on over and there you go, she got lice.
Her parents tried all kinds of things to get rid of the head lice, and worked really hard to comb them out and shampoo with all this medicated stuff, and then, right in the middle of all of that, her brother came in scratching his head, a lot.The lice had spread.
Eventually, and after all kinds of treatments, Nora and her family got rid of all the lice. The only person she spoke to about it was the friend who she had caught them from, and that was mostly to make sure that she took care of the problem if there still was one.
But one day, while Nora was talking to her friend about it in the school bathroom, this other girl was in a stall and they didn't know. This girl had started hanging out with all of Nora's friends, and she overheard that Nora had had lice and she snuck out of the bathroom and told all of Nora's friends about it.
Every time Nora would walk over to her she would give Nora this weird disgusted look and then she would just slowly back away. She would go whisper things with Nora's friends and Nora knew she was telling them all about the lice and making a really big deal about it. When Nora would come over to all of them, they would just run away, or make excuses and leave....
This girl kept using Nora's lice as a way to take her friends away from her, and made them all act like Nora was gross or something. It wasn't fun, and it made Nora really upset and alone most of the time - all because she had head lice, and even though she had gotten rid of them.
The rumors got so bad that one day a teacher even sent her home because they thought they saw lice in her hair. It wasn't true, she didn't have lice anymore, but nobody seemed to care, and that made going to school every day a bit of a challenge.
After a while the rumors seemed to die down and Nora made her way happily to fifth grade. But, early in the school year, she was sitting in class before it started and this one boy - the class clown - started going behind everyone at their desks and patting them on the heads - like that old game of duck-duck-goose.
And then, when that boy got to Nora, that same girl was there and she said, so everyone could hear it "Oh, I wouldn't touch Nora's head if I were you!" Nora couldn't believe it, after all this time, here she was again in a new grade and a new year starting it all up again. Nora burst into tears, right there at school, in class.
This girl just continued running away and starting rumors and Nora felt like she had lost all her friends. She was so upset and luckily a teacher noticed what was going on, and the school counselor who she ended up talking to about it and who stepped in to make things right.
That girl who had been causing all the problems at school and with Nora's friends went to her and apologized and not long after that they actually became good friends.
The best advice Nora can give? Bring your own pillow when you go to your friend's house for a sleepover, oh yeah, and don't spread rumors about people.
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