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Romeo and Juliet are the classic teen drama queens, their love so strong it killed them. But teens today may be less committed, but their passions still run hot. Specifically, they blaze, causing $20,000 in damages. Or at least that's true for a lovelorn teen in Anchorage, Alaska who burned a letter from an ex in the school playground and has since been charged criminally for this mischief.
Two 18-year-olds have been charged with criminal mischief, failure to control or report a fire, and negligent burning for the act. It is the fourth fire in the Anchorage School District since June, reports KTUU News, and costs are adding up.
The Bowman Elementary School in Anchorage, Alaska is covered in rubber mulch to cushion falls. That is what was set aflame when the two teenagers burned a love letter from an ex-girlfriend on the playground.
The teens admitted the act to police investigators. They said they lit the missive from the former girlfriend on fire and left it there to burn. It may have been a satisfying symbolic gesture, but they will probably be paying for it longer than their love will last. At 18, both are adults, and not charged as juveniles. They are old enough to know both broken hearts and serious criminal consequences for the property damage.
School district spokeswoman Heidi Embley says damage from the fire is estimated at $20,000. The playground is reportedly new, only two years old. And the Anchorage School District has had its maintenance budget taxed by other recent fires causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
But administrators are not the only ones upset about the fire on school property. The children at Bowman Elementary are unhappy about the incident. According to fourth grader Elli Paulson, who spoke to a KTUU reporter during recess, "Our playground was the best in the whole school district and I don't know why someone would want to do damage to it."
Unlike the law, young Paulson does not distinguish between intentional crimes and negligence. Luckily for the young accused men, a judge will.
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