AEA Associate Executive Director Theron Stokes issued the following memorandum regarding the 2017 Solar Eclipse and minimizing liability.
If your school system has not provided you with a statement regarding a policy and/or procedure to follow for the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, here are some suggestions to help avoid liability issues:
If you have not already received formal, written instructions, inquire about the procedural steps that should be taken during the timeframe of the eclipse.
If your school system has been silent on the matter, encourage your superintendent or principal to have a uniform procedure in place for everyone at your school to follow.
If you have received the procedure, follow all steps set forth in their entirety.
If you do not receive any documentation about the eclipse after inquiring, you should proceed with your class as though nothing was happening.
If your school plans to have students view the eclipse, request that uniform permission slips be distributed from the central office or principal’s office and make sure only those students who have a form on file are allowed to view the eclipse.
Make sure all communication about the eclipse is in writing, which includes e-mail, so you have documentation.
Email your students’ parents and outline the procedures as stated by the school system/principal.
Do not purchase or otherwise provide glasses to view the eclipse for your students.
If glasses are provided by your school/system, instruct students not to stare at the eclipse.
Use any common sense precautionary statements you deem necessary.
If your class is to remain in your classroom, you may consider closing all shades.
If you follow these steps, you minimize your risk of liability for students with eye damage or any other injury that may occur as a result of the eclipse. However, if an issue may arise, please contact your AEA UniServ Director