Tim's Take: School canceled for the solar eclipse - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: School canceled for the solar eclipse

(Source: NASA) (Source: NASA)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

When it first came out, the announcement to close local schools because of an eclipse was a little confusing. Actually, it seemed kind of comical.

"I was just wondering exactly why the reason they're not going to go to school when they just got back in,” said Claudette Roberts, an SCCPSS parent.

And, I admit my initial reaction was dismissive disbelief thinking, "So, now 'we're closing schools for excessive shade?”

But the opinion of others can sometimes change one's mind.

"I think it's pretty cool. I don't have to wait in this line for an hour to come get the kids, so that's pretty great,” said Carly Moore, who picks up her little brother at school.

And giving kids an extra day off is not all that made the closure make more sense.

Validation ranged from the scientific.

"First of all, the threat or the risk is the same as any day, but of course, we're not wanting to look at the sun every day. So now, especially with younger kiddos, the curiosity is there, they're going to want to look at it,” said WTOC Forecaster Cutter Martin.

To the practical.

"The fact that the eclipse is happening during our school dismissal time became a school safety issue,” said SCCPSS Public Information Manager Sheila Blanco.

And not just because teachers and administrators can't be expected to make sure every student does what they're told.

"They don't exactly always listen to don't look at the sky, don't look at the sun,” Moore said.

But also, no one would know what to expect if they were putting school buses on the roads in such unusual conditions.

"It's going to be thousands of people outside. You have bikers, you have walkers, school buses now driving in the dark,” Martin said.

"We don't know exactly how dark it's going to be or how many more people are going to be on the roads, distracted by what's going on,” Blanco said.

"So, it's unique, but a low risk that they just need to account for,” Martin said.

And sometimes you have to take into account that a first reaction isn't always right.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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