In reviewing a local production of “Romeo and Juliet,” Rosemary Ponnekati says the two lovers were taken “far beyond any typical teen situation today” (TNT, 1-22).
Unfortunately, it seems that such tragic “situations” are becoming more common and more violent. After a break-up with his girl, a teenage boy shot himself and several friends at a Marysville school. After a break-up with his girl, authorities say, a 19-year-old “man” shot her mother and the family dog on South Hill.
Teenage girls are being lured to Syria by promises of glory and romance with Islamic State fighters. Boys and girls are caught up in cycles of obsession, anxiety, and emotional or physical abuse through Internet pornography, extortion and seductions.
Maybe teenagers really do believe that “death is as strong as love.”
Most parents do their best to protect their children. But teens can be strongly influenced by their peers, by fads or social “norms.” Educators, media managers and community leaders must work together to change the culture.
Youth need to learn modesty, self-respect and street smarts. They need rules, curfews, adult supervision, and permission to say “no” without being labeled uncool or politically incorrect.
Romeo and Juliet weren’t mature enough to handle a passionate relationship, and neither are teens today.