Teenagers in The Times: May 2021

Here is the May edition of Teenagers in The Times, a roundup of the news and feature stories about young people that have recently appeared across sections of NYTimes.com. We publish a new edition on the first Thursday of each month during the school year.

For ideas about how to use Teenagers in The Times with your students, please see our lesson plan and special activity sheet, both of which can be used with this or any other edition.



An ‘Army of 16-Year-Olds’ Takes On the Democrats

Young progressives are an unpredictable new factor in Massachusetts elections. They’re ardent, and organized, and they don’t take orders.

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who recorded George Floyd’s murder, speaks out.

“I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a year ago,” she said. “A part of my childhood was taken from me.”

Police Shut Down Teenager’s Viral TikTok Birthday Party in California

Adrian Lopez’s 17th birthday party in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Saturday went viral on TikTok, prompting the police to shut it down.

‘What Do I Do Next?’: Orphaned by Covid, Two Teens Find Their Way

The virus took their mother. Now, as the city reopens, a brother and a sister are rebuilding their lives.


Black Student Athlete Was Forced to Remove Hair Beads During Game

Nicole Pyles, 16, of Durham, N.C., says that a rule banning the use of hair beads by student athletes is discriminatory.

What Are Puberty Blockers?

Recent conservative legislation has targeted a class of drugs used to treat transgender adolescents. But what do these drugs actually do?

Teenagers Are Struggling, and It’s Not Just Lockdown

“At first, this was just a break from school, but now all I feel is stress, anxiety and pain,” says a student who is quoted in this Opinion essay.


Arts, Media and Culture

A Teenager Mistakenly Moved Into a Senior Living Complex. TikTok Loves It.

After living for a week in an apartment complex for older adults, Madison Kohout, 19, discovered why she was the youngest resident by decades.

‘Monster’ Review: Teenager on Trial

In this drama, a young man’s future is threatened when he is accused of participating in a deadly bodega stickup.

‘Spring Blossom’ Review: Youth’s Fickle Desires

An alienated teenager finds questionable companionship in this playful coming-of-age romance by Suzanne Lindon, who was in her teens when she wrote, directed and starred in the film.

The Youth Prepare for #Summer2021, a Glorious Summer They’re Unlikely to Get

After a traumatic year, it’s hard to simply flip a switch toward fun. But have teenage summers ever lived up to expectations?

A Teenager’s ‘Hannibal’ Fan Art Will Hang in the U.S. Capitol

Representative Andy Kim of New Jersey, who picked the painting to represent his district in the Capitol, did not know it was inspired by a canceled TV show.

Bullied and Shunned, They Found a New Way to See the World

In “Heaven,” by Mieko Kawakami, two teenagers find solace and meaning in the face of ruthless torment.

How a 17-Year-Old’s Birthday Party Became the Biggest Thing on the Internet

After Adrian Lopez’s birthday ‘kickback’ went viral on TikTok, thousands of teenagers showed up for the party of the year.

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