They will view it over the Internet to protect their eyes

School children in Taft won't be watching Monday's solar eclipse directly, but they will be seeing it over the internet and learning about the phenomenon.

Primarily for safety reasons, the Taft Union High School District and Taft City School District are keeping students inside during and watching live streaming video from NASA.

In Taft, the eclipse will be only a partial one, covering about 65 percent of the sun. The eclipse starts about 9:05 a.m., will hit its maximum at about 10:20 and be over by 11:44

Watching the eclipse without proper eye protection can cause severe eye damage, something the schools are keenly aware of.

"The eclipse is a momentous event," TUHSD Superintendent Blanca Cavazos said in a reply to an email. "We have taken measures so that our students have the opportunity to view the event while being fully informed of the precautions that safeguard their eyesight."

"We have sent an email to all District employees and asked that they share the safety information with their students," she added."  The email not only warns of the potential for eye damage, but also provides information on how to check to see if eclipse glasses are safe and provides alternatives to using eclipse glasses to watch the eclipse."

The eclipse falls on the first day of school for the TCSD, further complicating the matter.

"There have been several issues under consideration including the safety of our students as a priority in the district," said TCSD Superintendent Julie Graves. "Also, the logistics of the solar eclipse occurring on the first day of school means that it would not have been possible to obtain liability waiver releases from parents of students to gain permission to view the solar eclipse prior to the first day of school.

That is not going to stop students from learning about it, however, Graves said.

"Many of the teachers are providing solar eclipse lessons to students on Aug 21 and may also access the Live Streaming from NASA so that students may learn about the solar eclipse."

Cavazos pointed out that more information about the eclipse is available on the internet at https://eclipse.ass.org/eye-safety/projection and on the NASA website at  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.