Utah's Columbia Elementary Mourns Shuttle Loss

Utah's Columbia Elementary Mourns Shuttle Loss

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- At Columbia Elementary School in suburban Salt Lake this morning, teachers and their students mourned the loss of the space shuttle that gave the school its name.

A black sash hung diagonally across the school's sign. Principal Barry Hansen says the West Jordan school has taken a lot of pride in the shuttle over the years.

He spent the weekend trying to decide how to handle the issue when his young students returned to class this morning.

He says he decided against holding a big assembly. But the students will observe a minute of silence, and spend time profiling the seven astronauts who died.

Teachers will also be asking their students if they'd like to write letters to the astronauts' families.

When he talks about the disaster with his students, Hansen says he wants to give them the facts -- without overburdening them with unpleasant details.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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