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Unexpected discovery about eclipse glasses leaves Eudora school administrators scrambling

EUDORA, Kan. -- Administrators in the Eudora Kansas Unified School District are scrambling to find a way for students to view the upcoming solar eclipse following an unexpected discovery about the districts solar eclipse viewing glasses.

"As we started to do some investigating ourselves we became less and less confident that the glasses we have are appropriate and safe to have our students outside and looking at the eclipse," said Kristin Magette, Director of Communications for the Eudora School District.

The school district's Parents as Teachers organization partnered with the school's Foundation group to purchase the glasses months ago; before it was widely publicized that there are fakes on the market. Although the glasses are branded as "American Paper Optics," that company did not make them. Certain clues regarding the shape of the lenses and writing on the inside of the glasses indicates they're fake.

Following this discovery, administrators discussed several options including keeping kids inside during the eclipse to watch a broadcast of the event on TV.

"The parents really trust that we are not going to do anything to put their child in danger and we take that really seriously and felt like we needed to error on the side of caution if we didn’t feel confident that we knew the source of the glasses," Magette explained.

"Certainly we wouldn’t want a first grader or even a senior in high school to sustain eye damage during a special event at school that would last them a lifetime," she adds.

Parents in the district have been offering to buy glasses for children and help out in any way they can so that kids don't miss this experience.

"Fortunately one of the parents who contacted us had access to some medical laboratory equipment and has offered to check the lenses. Tentatively we are encouraged by what he is discovering, that we may be able to have some students outside on Monday after all," said Magette.

District leaders are expected to meet Saturday morning to finalize a plan for Monday's eclipse.