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Scottsdale schools keeping kids inside to protect eyes during solar eclipse

FILE - This March 9, 2016, file photo shows a total solar eclipse in Belitung, Indonesia. A solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, is set to star in several special broadcasts on TV and online. PBS, ABC, NBC, NASA Television and the Science Channel are among the outlets planning extended coverage of the first solar eclipse visible across the United States in 99 years. (AP Photo/File)

PHOENIX — Students in the Scottsdale Unified School District will be kept indoors Monday during a solar eclipse so they cannot look at it and damage their eyes.

“While the eclipse is an excellent educational opportunity, it also raises concerns about safety,” the district said in a brief release.

Students will be kept inside between 9 a.m. and noon, meaning they will not be given recess, physical education or lunch outdoors.

Students will still learn about the event.

Parents can keep their children home Monday if they wish. The district said it would be considered an excused absence.

Other school districts around the country also planned to keep kids indoors during the space spectacle.

Monday’s solar eclipse is safe to view if you wear the proper equipment. Some fake glasses have been sold online, which could pose a danger.

“We have an opportunity to experience a spectacular natural phenomenon, and we can enjoy it with some simple protection. But if you don’t use that protection, you’ll be paying for it for the rest of your life,” said Dr. Paul Sternberg, director of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville, smack dab in the middle of the total eclipse path.

The eclipse was expected to begin about 9:13 a.m. Arizona time and reach its peak point about 10:30 a.m. The whole thing should be over by noon.

It will be the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to cross coast-to-coast and the first to pass through any part of the Lower 48 states in 38 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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