Parents in the Edwardsville school district can rest easy: Their children will not melt or go blind when the solar eclipse happens.
That’s because the school district has canceled classes on the day of the eclipse, Aug. 21, citing safety concerns. Here’s their logic: The eclipse will happen around the time that students go home, and there’s no way to ensure that students will look at the eclipse safely on their way home from school, so it’s better to just call off school for the whole day.
“To put students outdoors during that time, we can’t account for whether they’ll look at the sun,” Superintendent Lynda Andre said. “We will not put the students out and just hope they use safe habits until they get home to their parents.”
Mind you, the full eclipse will last about three minutes, but Andre said the full window of danger to the children is more like three hours. She said there was talk about teachers organizing field trips or viewing sessions on the day of the eclipse, but since Aug. 21 is only the fifth day of the school year, there won’t be enough time to properly train teachers and students on how to safely view it. You’re telling us that they can’t, in five days, figure out how to safely look at the eclipse?
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This is the same district where the average teacher salary is $50,418, and the average administrator salary is about $84,000. This is also the same district where voters in November approved a property tax increase — $182 per year on a $100,000 home.
It’s nice that the teachers and students will have a three-day weekend (yes, Aug. 21 happens to be a Monday). But why stop there? What if Tuesday is still dangerous? Let’s go ahead and make it a four-day weekend. Just don’t forget the shades and the sunscreen.