After lunch on the first day of school, Scout sits at her desk, lost in thought. Suddenly, she "looked up to see Miss Caroline standing in the middle of the room, sheer horror flooding her face" (Chapter 3). Scout wonders what is wrong with her teacher. At first, Scout thinks Miss Caroline sees a mouse. Several students in the class rush to help her. Terrified, Miss Caroline points to a student in the class. Little Chuck wants to help her, but he is puzzled.
Miss Caroline tells Little Chuck that she sees something crawling in the student's hair. She is mortified by this. Little Chuck tries to reassure her by telling her that "cooties" are nothing to worry about. Little Chuck leads the shaken teacher back to her desk and offers to get her a glass of water. The student who has lice in his hair catches one and pinches it between his fingers until it is dead.