NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - Officials in the Newton County School System (NCSS) are angry after they say they were sent solar eclipse glasses that are no longer recommended for use.
School officials say they were informed by the supplier on Friday after school hours that the solar eclipse glasses ordered for all elementary school students to wear are not recommended for use.
NCSS ordered the glasses from Everything Branded last month. At that time, the company assured the school district the glasses were safe for use, according to the school system.
Before placing the order, the school system says they required Everything Branded to supply an official statement certifying that the glasses had been tested and were ISO compliant. Everything Branded supplied the official testing documentation on July 26, 2017, according to officials.
"I am angry and disappointed," said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. "For weeks, we were assured by this company that the glasses were safe for wear. They guaranteed their product and provided documentation to verify that the eclipse glasses had been tested for ISO compliance. We spent several days sorting, counting, and distributing the glasses to each of our elementary schools only to receive an email this Friday evening after hours stating the company could no longer recommend the use of their eclipse glasses. Our schools and teachers had big plans for our students and this company waited until after the close of business to notify us that we should not use the glasses. With the eclipse this Monday, this leaves us absolutely no time to make other arrangements to order and receive glasses for our students."
Fuhrey added, "I'm disappointed for the children, many of whom were looking forward to viewing the eclipse with their glasses. I'm also disturbed that this company put our children's health and safety in jeopardy by providing glasses they assured us had been tested and were approved for use during the eclipse."
Due to the late notice by the company, the school superintendent reached out to all principals who received the glasses to notify them to refrain from distributing them to students.
Students will be able to watch the solar eclipse via live stream instead, according to school officials.
"The company offered refunds to all customers but it's not about the money; we haven't paid for the order yet," said Fuhrey. "I know our students will be disappointed but their safety is and always will be my number one concern."