MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker has announced that the district's schools will close early on August 21, the day of the eclipse.
Parents who choose to take their children out of school for the entire day are free to do so. The absence will be excused with a written note and will not be counted against their attendance.
Parker says it wasn't a decision he made lightly, but rather made in the interest of safety. He doesn't believe the school can realistically ensure the safety of 10,500 students, particularly with all the fake eclipse glasses going around.
"I am not willing to take the chance of 'hoping' all glasses brought in by the student or acquired by different schools by different staff members from different sites are all 100 percent safe," Parker said.
He says it simply isn't feasible, neither financially or logistically, to provide thousands of pairs of glasses to the entirety of the district.
Parker hopes that by dismissing early, parents can take steps to ensure their child's safety, rather than risking "permanent retina damage as a result of something [they] did at school."
- PreK will dismiss at 10:30 a.m.
- Elementary will dismiss at 11:00 a.m.
- High school will dismiss at 11:45 a.m.
Parker concluded, "I hope you all understand my reasoning. I made this decision 11 days early so you could have time to prepare. I know some will disagree with this decision and I can accept that … What I could not live with is if one of our kids had permanent eye damage that occurred because I couldn't make a tough decision."
Parents with questions are concerns are encouraged to reach out to the school directly.
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