MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — With the historic partial solar eclipse just a few days away, some school systems along the Gulf Coast have decided against outdoor viewing for students.
Mobile County Public School System: CANCELLED
Due to receiving protective eyewear with questionable safety specifications, the Mobile County Public School System has announced that outdoor viewing of the solar eclipse will not be permitted.
“We’re not sure about the safety of all of the glasses,” said Superintendent Martha Peek. “We don’t want people to have a false sense of security.”
Baldwin County Public Schools: ALLOWED, BUT LIMITED SUPPLIES
Most of Baldwin County’s supply of protective eyewear has been verified for the celestial event, but a few shipments were on the recall list. A majority of students will be able to view the eclipse outdoors, but some might be restricted to indoor viewing on computers.
“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,” said Superintendent Eddie Tyler.
Escambia County School District: ALLOWED WITH PERMISSION SLIP
All outdoor classes, such as physical education, are being moved inside during the celestial event in Escambia County. Superintendent Malcolm Thomas is permitting teachers to take students outside for viewing, but only with a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian, the correct protective eyewear for each student, and other safety practices must be followed.
Santa Rosa District Schools: ALLOWED
Over in Florida, the Santa Rosa school district has “exciting plans” for the solar eclipse, with some lessons outdoors and others indoors. If any parents want to be with their child for the event, they can pick them up from school or keep them at home. The absence will be excused with a note.
Okaloosa County Schools: CANCELLED
Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson wrote a letter to parents on Thursday stating that there is a concern about counterfeit viewing glasses and they are concerned about the dangers they pose. School leaders have decided to cancel outdoor viewing.
Saraland City Schools: ALLOWED (2nd to 5th Grade)
900 students from Saraland Elementary School will watch the eclipse outdoors with protective eyewear through a partnership with the University of Mobile. Other students in Saraland will follow along indoors through the use of computers.
Spanish Fort High School: ALLOWED WITH PERMISSION SLIP
Spanish Fort will not be holding any school-wide eclipse event, but teachers are permitted to take their class outdoors with the correct protective eyewear and a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian.
If there is a school system not on our list, you can contact the school yourself or email News5@wkrg.com.