I’ve just done a quick check to find out what the schools our kids go to are doing to help kids experience the eclipse tomorrow. The answer, unsurprisingly and in keeping with a lot of other schools, is they won’t be allowed to be outside to feel the world go dark and hear the birds stop singing because it is too dangerous and they can’t guarantee the kids won’t look at the sun.
About which, you could say a million things and I’ll settle for these:-
- The sun is there all the time and they can stare at it and blind themselves any time they like. Generally they don’t, given even the biggest idiots in the word tend not to be a massive fan of pain and blindness.
- Most of life has the potential for extreme danger, not least being in large public buildings, filled with unpredictable hormonal people and adults who may, in the light of recent media attention, be there because contact with minors is something they like for the wrong reasons.
- Walking to school is extremely dangerous. Possibly too dangerous to risk. Perhaps they shouldn’t do it. So is going in a car. Or on a bike. All have potential for maiming and death.
But the point that I think is the most damning indictment on this is the following:-
- Schools are about education, learning, life skills and growth from child to autonomous adult. To shield our children from any possible danger or responsibility for themselves through their schooling is to deny them the right to learn, accept responsibility for themselves and grow into adults.
It’s not rocket science.
- Don’t stare at the sun.
- Buy some special glasses to view it.
- Take fleeting glimpses even when taking precautions.
- Don’t look at it through any sort of camera lens.
- Follow good guidelines.
- Don’t improvise equipment and think it will do. Sunglasses are not good enough.
This is an amazing event. They happen rarely and are an extraordinary event to experience. The earth goes still and dim, the birds cease singing and a hush falls that is eerie even if, as in the case of the 1999 one, it is cloudy.
You cannot experience that in a classroom by live feed. You cannot learn the skills of watching one safely by a list of instructions you don’t get to try out in a classroom with drawn blinds. It is beyond shocking that this is being tied up as a danger instead of an important teaching opportunity.
Use it. Rebel. Keep them off school and make a pinhole camera. Sit still and feel it.
But for the love of Mother Earth, don’t let them be sat in a classroom watching an amazing event, one that has been seen as a portent of doom through the ages, instead of walking on the ground and feeling it happen.
I honestly despair.
Everyone pray for light fog 😉 And some common sense.