Shawnee Heights receives fake eclipse glasses

By  | 

TECUMSEH, Kan. (WIBW) - Students, staff and administration in the Shawnee Heights School District thought they were prepared to view the total solar eclipse.

"We were planning to take our kids, our entire school, 600 students and staff outside to view the eclipse when it was happening between 1:00 P.M. and 1:15 P.M.,” Shawnee Height Elementary School Principal, Rebecca Hummer, said.

They spend more than $2,000 on more than 2,500 glasses.

On Saturday morning administrators received an email from with a warning, do not use them.

"They couldn't verify that they glasses were manufactured by an approved manufacturer and American Astronomical Society Compliant,” Shawnee Heights Superintendent, Dr. Martin Stessman, said.

Stessman says the markings on the fake glasses look suspicious. The approved glasses read, ‘Manufactured by American Paper Optics, Bartlett, TN.’ The fake glasses read, ‘Manufactured by American Paper Optics’ but don’t include ‘Bartlett, TN.’

Left without glasses, students will stay inside on August 21st.

"We're disappointed,” said Stessman. “Our teachers, our principals and I know kids will be too, but we have to act in the interest of safety here. We simply just can't take a risk with the vision of a couple thousand kids."

Stessman says he wishes Amazon had done their homework but he's happy they were notified.

"Go to the NASA website,” said Stessman. “Go to the American Astronomical website and double check and make sure the glasses you're putting on your kids are manufactured by an approved manufacturer."

One way to tell if your glasses are approved is to look at the lens. If the lens is gray and shiny it’s okay to wear, but if it’s black you’re better off staying inside.