EUDORA, Kan. - The Eudora School District announced on Friday that outdoor solar eclipse events for next week have been canceled after staff discovered donated glasses were counterfeit.
Two thousand pairs of glasses were donated by the Eudora Schools Foundation and the PTO, who bought the glasses off Amazon.
The discovery came days before the historic event and after weeks of getting ready for the big day.
“We've had plans for several weeks to have outdoor activities,” explained Eudora communications director Kristin Magette. “Some research we did raised a lot of questions about whether they were authentic or counterfeit."
Magette said the district decided to cancel outdoor events as a safety precaution.
“I just really felt the disappointment that our teachers, principals, and students I knew would feel,” she explained. “Obviously, we don't want to put glasses on our students that we can't guarantee will protect their eyesight."
Since the announcement, Magette said other parents have come forward with possible solutions to the issue.
Some have called in and told of places still selling the hot item. Others have offered to test the current set or donate new pairs.
Unless 2,000 pairs are donated soon, Magette said the district will continue with other plans.
The district will now hold indoor festivities at its schools for the solar eclipse on Monday, including watch parties of the NASA live stream.
“Regardless of whether we are inside or outside on Monday, I feel really confident that our students are going to have a great experience,” Magette explained.
The rush to find eclipse glasses has unfortunately led to counterfeits popping up around the country and online.
Plenty of metro stores have seen many customers call and come in over recent weeks asking about the item.
“It's insane,” explained Fat Brain Toys manager Lisa Followell. “We sold them out the first day we had them. We can't keep them in stock."
The Overland Park store now refers customers to other businesses; however, competitors are also dealing with a shortage.
“Sometimes, we'll call a store and they answer the phone the same way. 'Thank you for calling. Sorry, we don't have any solar glasses,’” Followell explained. “We live for the holiday season. The feel has been the same. The excitement has been the same."
To check to see if your solar eclipse glasses are counterfeit, the American Astronomical Society said to check for an ISO number on the pair.
The number can often be found on the inside part of the glasses and contains the digits 12312-2.
Experts also said you should see complete darkness when looking through the glasses, and the sun should appear as a dark orange circle.
The American Astrological Society added that customers should buy the item from reputable sellers.
For a list of those businesses, click on this link: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters