School Schedules 'Vindictive' Mandatory Teachers' Meeting During The Exact Time Of The Eclipse — But Gives Kids The Whole Day Off

What is gained by being vindictive about a rare and exciting event?

eclipse and woman stuck in a vindictive teachers meeting Yuri /Getty Images Signature | Goinyk Production, Canva Pro

People have been downright weird about the 2024 solar eclipse, from conspiracy theories to online eye-rolling about why anyone should care about a supposedly banal celestial phenomenon. 

The experience a teacher on Reddit is having in their workplace is a perfect example of how strangely people are approaching this event and shows that nothing can stop certain bosses from being as callously vindictive as possible. 


The school called a 'vindictive' mandatory teachers' meeting during the eclipse.

All along the path of totality, the roughly 100-mile wide band from Texas to Maine, where the Sun will be entirely obscured by the Moon, cities and towns have been bracing for utter chaos. Not because of the supposed impending disasters conspiracy theorists are convinced are part of the phenomenon, but because towns are overrun with visitors wanting to experience a total eclipse.

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This has resulted in many school districts along the path of totality canceling school because of logistical concerns like traffic back-ups. They are also closing so kids can experience and learn from the eclipse, which won't be visible in the U.S. again for another 20 years.

This Redditor's school is among them. "My school district thought it would be important enough to the students to let them go for the day so they could experience the event of a lifetime!" 

And for the people of her city, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "Perspective: the last time we had a total solar eclipse here was in 1925," they wrote. "The next time will be in 2144."

But that "once in a lifetime opportunity" apparently only applies to the students themselves. Not only do the teachers not have the day off, but they also have to attend a meeting, the timing of which can only be viewed as a purposeful punishment. 


The teachers' meeting is scheduled for the precise time of the eclipse in their city. 

"Teachers [are] being given alternate work for the day" throughout the school district, which itself is a strange choice. If the kids have the day off, why shouldn't the teachers?

But this teacher's specific school took things a step further to twist the knife. "The principal scheduled an end-of-day staff meeting from 2:30 to 3:30 in the library" — the exact window of time for the eclipse in many parts of the country.



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"I mean, that's petty, vindictive, and spiteful. On all levels of management, right on up to the director of education for our district," the disgruntled teacher wrote. 

Thankfully, they had the foresight nine months ago to take the day off. But "while I'm sitting under a (hopefully clear, blue) sky watching the sun getting eclipsed, my poor colleagues will be stuck inside a windowless school library being bullied about the usual [stuff] we could be doing better.

They urged their fellow teachers to fight back by calling in sick on eclipse day "and send anonymous critical [emails]... to your directors of education and admin teams."

Moves like this are needlessly petty and dehumanizing — and given the nationwide shortage of teachers, it's insanely poor management.

What exactly do this school's administrators gain from being like this? It makes you wonder what the goal could possibly be because if it's anything besides making people hate their jobs more than they already do, it's a giant swing and a miss. 


Schools nationwide are suffering massive shortages. For the 2023-2024 school year, a staggering 86% of K-12 public schools struggled to hire adequate numbers of teachers, and for non-teacher positions like aides, transportation staff, and mental health workers, it wasn't much better at 83%.



Even before the pandemic exacerbated pretty much every aspect of the profession, teachers cited a lack of administrative support as one of the key reasons their jobs were becoming intolerable.

Amid this landscape, moving to punish teachers with a meeting during what for many is a once-in-lifetime experience is an insane, not to mention cruel, choice. Here's hoping school administrators learn this basic lesson before the next solar eclipse.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.