NEW ORLEANS, La. (KPEL News) - Some schools in Louisiana are being extra cautious when it comes to Monday's solar eclipse, even to the point of canceling class.

Schools in Jefferson Parish will be dismissing early, while other schools in the New Orleans will be keeping an eye on things (though not literally).

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The Advocate is reporting that the decision to close Jefferson Parish schools early came as a result of school officials wanting kids to make it home before the eclipse so as to not put students in harm's way.

"While this event promises to be an incredible learning experience, we want to take every precaution to protect the safety of our students," a school system press release said.

Districts officials cite the fact that 80 percent of schools dismiss between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The eclipse will be underway during that time, meaning students would be outside waiting for buses and in carpool lines when it happens.

Other schools in New Orleans may be making similar precautions.

In New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools spokesperson Taslin Alfonzo said that the district is not mandating half-day closures because the eclipse “has not been classified as an emergency." Individual charters may decide to close, but as of Thursday afternoon no schools were planning to dismiss early, he said.

Some schools, however, are planning to keep children indoors and tune in to a live broadcast of the eclipse.

“Some may opt to forego recess during the eclipse period, while others see it as an educational opportunity," said Alfonzo. "With parental consent, scholars will be provided with eclipse safety glasses to observe the phenomenon. Alternatively, some students may watch it via the NASA channel in their classrooms.”

Most schools seem to be planning to keep kids indoors and allowing them to watch a livestream of the eclipse instead.

The Risks of Staring at the Eclipse

Looking at the sun is risky, even during an eclipse, because it's super bright and can hurt your eyes badly, experts warn.

 

The sun's light is much stronger than any other light we're used to, and it can damage the sensitive parts of our eyes that help us see. Even if the sun looks less bright during an eclipse, it can still harm you.

What makes it dangerous is that your eyes won't feel pain right away, so you might not realize you're hurting them until it's too late. Staring at the sun, even for a short time, can cause permanent damage, leading to blurry vision or even blindness.

To keep your eyes safe, it's important to never look directly at the sun. Instead, if you want to see an eclipse, you can use special glasses made for that purpose or make a simple projector. These methods let you enjoy the eclipse without risking your eyesight.

Where Can I Get Eclipse Glasses?

We've compiled a pretty comprehensive list of where you can still go to get a pair of glasses specifically tailored for viewing the eclipse.


 

READ MORE: Here's Where You Can Find Eclipse Glasses Locally


 

Included on that list are locations like Sonic, Cracker Barrel, Big Boy Toys, and Lafayette Parish library. Several other retailers may still have some, but all locations are distributing while supplies last, so if you're wanting to grab a pair, you might want to do it quickly.

The Top 7 Solar Eclipse Controversies

The solar eclipse has been seen by few, shrouded in mystery by many, and its legendary status has come with quite a few controversies. Will it cause earthquakes? Can it shut down our electric systems? Will it end the world?

Gallery Credit: Devon Brosnan

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