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Area Schools Will Try To Keep Kids From Staring At The Solar Eclipse

Posted On August 21, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.

(Franklin County, Ind.) – Some southeastern Indiana students will be kept from viewing Monday’s solar eclipse amid concerns for their eye health.

Franklin County Community Schools sent a letter to parents Thursday saying that all afternoon recesses and outdoor classes will be held indoors so as to keep students from staring at the sun. There are worries that students could harm their vision if they look at the eclipse too long or without the proper eyewear.

“The FCCSC recognizes the educational opportunity for our students and understands this is a valuable educational experience. FCCSC is also aware of the potentially harmful impact to a student’s vision if the student looks at the sun during the partial eclipse. The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority,” Superintendent Dr. Debbie Howell wrote in the parent letter.

The eclipse is expected to begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue until nearly 4:00. All outdoor practices and sporting events at FCCSC will not begin until 4:00.

Listen to Eagle Country 99.3’s interview with Patrick Motl, an associate professor of physics and associate dean in the School of Science at IU Kokomo, regarding the eclipse in the audio player below.

If the audio player does not appear, click here to listen to the interview.

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in the district will have the opportunity to view the eclipse using school-issued, eclipse-safe viewing glasses, Howell added. K-12 classrooms throughout the district will have discussion about the eclipse, the risks of looking to the sun, and be shown a livestream of the event. Parents will be offered free latch key services until 6:00 p.m. if they do not want their child riding home on the school bus during the eclipse.

Franklin County Community Schools are not the only local school district taking precautions. Three Rivers Local Schools have also issued a notice that it will not allow students to view the eclipse.

“The moon will completely cover the sun, but it is our job to cover the safety of our students,” Three Rivers principals said in a letter.

Many types of glasses which claim to allow people to look directly at the sun are being sold. Be sure to read NASA’s guidelines about eye safety during the solar eclipse at https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety2.html.

A NASA video webstream of the eclipse will be available at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-live-stream.