Teenagers in The Times: May 2022

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. It is the final edition of this school year, but the feature will be back in the fall, and will publish on the first Thursday of every month.

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.


My College Students Are Not OK

“Late assignments, failed tests, sleeping in class: Welcome to the pandemic-era university,” writes the author of this Opinion essay, a professor of first-year writing at a university in Texas.

Accused of Cheating by an Algorithm, and a Professor She Had Never Met

The student, 17, was flagged for “acting suspiciously” during an exam in February.

Students Protest Covid Lockdowns at Elite Beijing University

Authorities moved quickly to censor videos and photos that showed students at Peking University demonstrating.

How a Debut Graphic Memoir Became the Most Banned Book in the Country

Maia Kobabe’s book “Gender Queer,” about coming out as nonbinary, landed the author at the center of a battle over which books belong in schools, and who gets to make that decision.

Teacher Suspended for Telling Students to Pick Cotton in Slavery Lesson

Parents at a school in Rochester, NY, said Patrick Rausch, a white social studies teacher, had also instructed his seventh-grade students to call him “massah.”

On the Phone, Alone

We look at the mental health crisis facing adolescents — and the role of digital technology.

Teens in Distress Are Swamping Pediatricians

Around the country, the setting for adolescent mental health care looks ever more like this doctor’s office in Kentucky, the next patient arriving every 15 minutes.

Hundreds of Suicidal Teens Sleep in Emergency Rooms. Every Night.

With inpatient psychiatric services in short supply, adolescents are spending days, even weeks, in hospital emergency departments awaiting the help they desperately need.

Fentanyl Tainted Pills Cause Drug Fatalities Among Youth to Soar

Teenagers and young adults are turning to Snapchat, TikTok and other social media apps to find Percocet, Xanax and other pills. The vast majority are laced with deadly doses of fentanyl, police say.

Officials Warn of Fake Adderall Pills After Two College Students Die

Officials said the fake pills could contain fentanyl. Two Ohio State University students died this week in what the police said were apparent overdoses.

Summer Camp for All

“It’s hard to imagine a more ideal escape for young people living through an extraordinary time of grief, loneliness and upheaval,” writes the author of this Opinion essay.

HBCUs Have a Spirit All Their Own. Pop Culture Is Paying Attention.

Thanks to Beyoncé, Ralph Lauren and hit shows like “All American: Homecoming,” depictions of Black campus life have moved from “A Different World” to center stage.

My Plea for a Sixth Love Language

The winner of our college essay contest explores how for her Syrian family, scattered by war, a WhatsApp group chat — rife with silly videos and often regrettable photos — is everything.

Kid Krono Wrote Music for Kanye West Between Classes

Konrad Birgisson, a teenager from New York, messaged his favorite music producers on Instagram.

Review: ‘Belfast Girls’ Set Sail, but This Isn’t a Pleasure Cruise

A historical drama revisits a 19th-century scheme in which Irish girls of “good character” were encouraged to immigrate to Australia.

Colin Kaepernick to Publish a Young Adult Memoir

“Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game,” an illustrated book, follows a young athlete choosing between baseball, which seems like a sure path, and football, where he feels he can be himself.

This ‘Cats’ Adaptation Has the Kids Singing

JJ Pearce High School in Texas staged one of the country’s first school productions of “Cats: Young Actors Edition,” a new one-hour version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

2 Graphic-Style Guidebooks to Calm Kids’ Social Butterflies

“What Can I Say?” and “You Know, Sex” help adolescents navigate the awkward age.

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