EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Children attending Edwardsville District 7 schools in southern Illinois won't have classes next month on the day of the upcoming solar eclipse.

The Belleville News Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2uFM9Ww ) that the school board voted Monday to cancel classes Aug. 21 due to safety concerns. School lets out during the time of day when it will be most dangerous to look at the sun. The eclipse is the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 99 years. It will last longest about 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of Edwardsville near Carbondale, Illinois: approximately two minutes and 40 seconds.

Scientists have warned that permanent eye damage is possible from looking at the eclipse with unprotected eyes.

Edwardsville Superintendent Lynda Andre says the district won't "put the students out and just hope they use safe habits."

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com