BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Next week’s solar eclipse being shadowed by a scam that could affect you and your children.
What’s expected to be a historic first day of school for kids in Baldwin County, could’ve turned into a nightmare.
“It’s frightening. Absolutely frightening,” said the Principal of Pine Grove Elementary School in Bay Minette, Donnashele Briuster.
After Pine Grove Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization spent $200 on 600 eclipse glasses for its students, the staff found out they weren’t the real deal after watching the news.
“We immediately contacted Amazon and discovered that the one we ordered from had been removed. So that lets you know that more than likely they were fake. It turns out that they were already en route, so we canceled that order immediately,” said Briuster.
Once reports of fake eclipse glasses started popping up nationwide, parents are worried that an educational event could lead to a trip to the doctor.
“I wasn’t very happy with Amazon came and were going to sell us glasses that could have harmed my child,” said one parent of two Pine Grove students, Patricia Bryars.
Another student’s mother, Shay Stewart, says she feels bad for the kids that may not be able to watch the eclipse in person, “I think that this is a big thing for our kids to be able to experience and I thought it was just sad that it could possibly harm them.”
Superintendent Eddie Tyler says it’s double checking all of its glasses to prepare for this upcoming Monday. “I would much rather have a conversation with a parent after the eclipse that was upset that their child maybe didn’t get to go outside and view it, than I would with a parent who is sitting at the doctor’s office with a child that might have an injury.”
Pine Grove says it did purchase some real glasses from local stores before they sold out but there aren’t enough for all of its students.
Some of the kids will watch it indoors on the computer or television.
The principal also says an Amazon representative was apologetic about the incident.
So when you reach for the shades this Monday, here’s what you need to look for: make sure the code: i-s-o 12312 or 12312 2: 2015 is on the side, check for scratches or tears in the filters, and most importantly; check to make sure where you purchased them.
You can find a list of reputable vendors on the American Astronomical Society’s website: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification