In my view, the syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” has grown distasteful and irresponsible.
Ted and Sally Forth continue, after about a year, to encourage their 12-year old daughter, Hilary, to pair up with and date her 13-year-old boyfriend, Jon. They spend all summer and holidays with each other, holding hands, taking solitary walks in the woods, and have even kissed. All the while the parents think it is “cute” (direct quote). When they reunited at the start of this summer’s vacation, Hilary was very surprised that Jon’s height had suddenly shot up so he’s now at least a head taller. He’s obviously going through puberty with loads of raging hormones, so I find that continuing his relationship with a very young girl to be grotesque and, since her parents won’t put their feet down to stop it, very tempting for them both.
These kids - yes, kids - are playing with fire. And I don’t think this strip belongs on the News Tribune’s Comics page. Would the newspaper continue to run the strip if Hilary and Jon were to become sexually active? Or would that be “cute,” too, instead of alarming and premature?
I think the newspaper, as well as the authors of the strip, should do some serious reflecting on where all this appears to be heading. It surely sets a poor example for young readers who, if they follow Jon and Hilary’s example, might wind up with an unplanned pregnancy or STDs.
Dennis P. Mitchell