I was sitting in my 6th grade homeroom. They had opened the wall up to the adjoining classroom and the two classes were watching the the Space Shuttle launch on the TVs in the room. I remember the teachers making a big deal about us needing to watch it launch.
When it happened, I do not remember the teachers’ responses. And afterward, I don’t remember them doing any kind of check with us on our feelings etc. on the disaster. If that were today kids would have been put in to group therapy or something for a period of time.
We did talk about the astronauts, especially the teachers. But I think the boys who sat behind me were too busy throwing M&Ms in my hair and claiming they were lodged in there and would never be found.
I was clearly traumatized by many things in 6th grade.
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster - January 28, 1986
I was sitting in a high school midterm 27 years ago today when a kid in my class leaned over and whispered, “the Space Shuttle blew up.” I couldn’t believe what he was saying, he’d heard it on his walkman radio. I was stuck in my exam and I had no way to figure out what was happening. We had early dismissal that day and I went straight home. I sat down in front of the TV for the next 8 hours flipping between Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings trying to find out how is happened. I saw the shuttle blow up over and over and over, it was surreal.