Total solar eclipse concerns administration, excites students


Tamyra Baggett

Juniors Kitty Case (left), Mary Gough (center), Katy Calderwood (right), and Campbell McCready (top) view the solar eclipse during 6th period. Many students had the opportunity to view the eclipse with glasses distributed by the Astronomy Club.

Tamyra Baggett, Staff Writer

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast in the United States. Students would have viewed the eclipse at the beginning of 6th period outside, but unfortunately not everyone had protective eyewear.

“We did attempt to order protective eyewear for the school, however, it did not come in on time and that’s when we went to plan B over the weekend,” Principal Bradley Roberson said.

Anyone that was able to obtain the certified protective eyewear was allowed to go out and view the eclipse. Students that did not have protective eyewear, however, had to view the eclipse on a live stream via Nasa’s website. Some students assumed that since the eclipse in Oxford wasn’t in the path of totality, then the eclipse could be viewed with the naked eye. Roberson expressed concern for those students who were tempted to do so.

“We took precautionary measures to try to alleviate some of the temptation of students looking up at the sun,” Roberson said.

Students weren’t allowed to go outside that day due to the UV rays that could do possible damage to their eyes

“UV rays can be very damaging to your eyes,” sophomore Hannah Spillers said. “They can affect your vision by burning your retinas, which can lead to blindness. That is why it is important to protect your eyes.”

One way Roberson planned to alleviate this problem was by not allowing students to eat lunch outside that day. He also assigned teachers and administrators to stand at the doors leading to the courtyard to authenticate each pair of solar eclipse glasses.

“Some of the glasses that I found did not have an ISO approved certification,”  US History teacher Daniel Parrish said.

During the week preceding the total solar eclipse, news spread that there were fake glasses being sold on Amazon, which is where most students, that weren’t in the astronomy club, may have purchased them, therefore precautionary measures had to be taken. Science teacher Jim Reidy’s Astronomy Club was able to obtain glasses because they ordered them weeks beforehand and assembled some for other students.

“We ordered some glasses material through Amazon, which as far as I know came in, and Mrs. Hickey was going to have her classes make them into glasses,” Reidy said. “It was a big role of film that they made the glasses out of.”

Many students shared their eclipse glasses with each other, because not everyone was able to get glasses. Some students didn’t seem too enthused with the eclipse, including sophomore Riley Abernathy.

“I thought it was anticlimactic,” Abernathy said.

Many students, on the other hand, viewed the eclipse as an important moment for everyone to witness.

“I think the eclipse was an amazing moment for our town and country in general,” Spillers said. “It really brought the country together as a whole. Everyone went outside and watched it together and I feel like it is important to have events that can unite us, like the eclipse did, even if it is just for a few minutes.”