An Open Letter to the Reed College Community

Two too many precious lives have been lost in the past two years. The “blind eye” that has been watching our children to ensure their safety, must end.

If there had been a fire in the dorm (heaven forbid), and your child died in that fire, you would look to make sure that all fire safety laws and practices had been in place. If they were not, wouldn’t you hold the college responsible?

Illegal drug use is no different. We entrust our children to Reed College, not just for their physical safety from fire and intruders, but also for their emotional safety. There must be more counseling for students who feel stress. Counselors must not prescribe sleeping pills (take a chemical, it will make you feel better). Healthy lifestyles, including exercise, a regular schedule, time and stress management should be prescribed. Students who use/distribute illegal drugs should be expelled, not just suspended, to send a strong message to the student population.

We do appreciate all the consideration and help the administration has afforded us. I am sure they feel the pain, too. We thank them for their consideration and cooperation.

Those who feel the District Attorney and Department of Justice are being too harsh on the college administration need to stop and think: my child is still alive, but for how long? Let the appropriate parties eliminate the drugs on campus, and please tell the Reed College community that there must be zero tolerance for drug abuse so no more precious lives are wasted.

We would have loved to have met you all at Sam’s graduation, but that will never be.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara and Alan Tepper
Parents of Sam Tepper

READ – Authorities to Reed College: Crack down on campus drugs, USA Today
READ – Reed College’s President Is Told to Crack Down on Campus Drug Use, NY Times
READ – District Attorney: Reed Needs “Zero Tolerance Policy” for Drugs at Renn Fayre, Portland Mercury
READ – Confronting Drug Abuse at Reed, interview with Colin Diver, Reed President
READ – Reed’s long, patronizing and overly-complicated drug & alcohol policy