ECLIPSE: Pasco elementary students to be kept inside during Monday's eclipse

By Tim Wronka, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, August 20, 2017, 2:24 PM EDT

Many students around the Bay area will be kept inside during the solar eclipse Monday.

School districts are taking extra precautions to keep kids from looking directly at the sun. However, some parents don’t want their kids to miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Pasco resident Karen Watros remembers watching a solar eclipse at school when she was a kid.

“The whole school, they took us outside. And I believe we looked at the eclipse with a piece of paper with a little hole punched through it. I do remember that,” Watros said.

This time around, students won’t get that opportunity, as most schools are deciding to keep them indoors.

In Pasco County, all elementary students will be kept inside.

“Our primary concern is children safety. We don’t want anyone to get eye damage by looking directly at the sun,” Linda Cobbe with Pasco Co. Schools said.

Other school districts are taking similar precautions, though some teachers will take kids outside with parental permission and the right safety equipment.

“I just hope they’re protecting the kids that are going to be accidentally looking at it. You know it’s going to raise curiosity,” Grandparent Lynne Straley said.

Most schools will just be doing indoor learning for the eclipse, like showing a live feed from NASA and using the eclipse as a teachable moment.

“It’s never good to look at the sun. So it’s something that we can reinforce with this eclipse, which is a once in a lifetime event,” Cobbe said.

All local districts are encouraging parents to warn their kids about the dangers of staring at the sun.

Students in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco County can get an excused absence if they want to witness the eclipse outside of school.