UPDATE: Duplin Co. schools explain ‘safety’ reasoning for eclipse early dismissal

DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A school system in the east has dismissed early for The Great American Eclipse.

Students were released at noon for safety reasons.

WITN asked for more clarification on the reason for dismissing due to safety and we were provided a statement.

“According to the American Society of Retina Specialists, “looking up at the sun during an eclipse could present safety risks, such as vision damage, including, potentially, permanent vision loss.” In addition, travel during this time may be less safe than normal, with less daylight occurring and drivers possibly being more distracted during the eclipse. It was reported that today’s solar eclipse would occur during our regular dismissal times; therefore, out of an abundance of caution, Duplin County Schools dismissed students at 12 noon and all staff at 1:30 p.m. Doing so allowed students to be in the care of their parents and/or guardians to experience this historical event should they choose to do so,” says Dr. Austin Obasohan, Superintendent of Duplin County Schools.

Duplin County Schools’ Christy Johnson says all afterschool activities including athletic events are cancelled, and all staff will be released at 1:30 pm.