Making sense of Yeardley Love's tragic death

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Regarding the May 7 Metro story " 'I think it has been hard on everyone,' " about the the slaying of Yeardley Love at the University of Virginia:

As a graduate of the university and the parent of a 2007 graduate and a student who will graduate this month, I was shocked and saddened by Ms. Love's senseless death. While I appreciate the care and tending that U-Va. President John T. Casteen III provided to the students, there is an elephant in the room. It is inconceivable to me that Mr. Casteen, in a speech he gave during a candlelight vigil, urged students to act when they see abuse or violence around them, when the university has a policy, in most cases, of not informing parents when their children are abusing themselves by drinking illegally.

It is time for universities across America to heed Mr. Casteen's advice. No longer should underage drinking be kept in a separate category of abuse; no longer should we "protect" students by keeping this information from parents, who are in the best position and who are the most motivated to help their children deal with the problems arising from underage drinking.

Just as U-Va. will seek to have more access to "private information" from law enforcement officials, so too should U-Va. grant more access to "private information" to parents. Let this be Yeardley Love's legacy.

Barbara Andrukonis, Arlington

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In her May 8 Sports column about the death of Yeardley Love, "Culture of silence gives free rein to male athletes," Sally Jenkins concluded that "women can't do anything" about the code of silence that pervades men's locker rooms. But a woman can, and must, say no to a man who is physically abusive. Her friends, teachers and the law are there to support her and to insist that she say no.


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