Glasses confusion leaves Wylie ISD students unable to watch eclipse

A North Texas school district hoping to give its students an opportunity to view the solar eclipse outside with special glasses had to deliver some disappointing news.

It turns out hundreds of the glasses that were donated to the district are not certified.

Using donations, the Harrison Intermediate School's PTA bought 800 pairs of solar eclipse glasses to give every student the opportunity to see something that won't happen again until 2024. But the district later learned that the glasses may not be safe.

Monday will mark the first total solar eclipse that passes across the United States since 1979. In Texas, it will be a partial eclipse.

But 10-year-old Kaitlin Fronterhouse just found out the glasses donated to her school aren't safe because they are not ISO certified to meet international safety standards.

“I'm really disappointed,” she said. “I was really looking forward to it."

They found out Thursday, too late to find certified glasses.

“They said it didn't have the rating,” Marcy Crow said. “The kids could have been out there looking at it through the glasses. And now, they're going to just be looking at it on TV. Doesn't give the same coolness I guess."

“It won't be as fun as doing it for real right outside the window,” Kaitlin said. “And you're just going to have to watch it on a screen."

“We can't verify where they came from, who made them or if they are certified safe for kids to use,” explained Ian Halperin with Wylie ISD. “It's unfortunate someone would take advantage of an event like this and sell something that could damage our kids’ eyes. We're not going to take a chance."

Halperin says because it's too late to find replacement glasses, they will be watching the eclipse through NASA’s webcast. She says if parents have solar eclipse glasses of their own, they can come to the school to watch the eclipse with their kids.

The next chance for a total solar eclipse in Texas is in 2024.

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