“You honor Landen by honoring yourself”: IMPACT Week speakers promote student safety


Ethan Schenker

Whitman parent Marc Hausman warns students of the consequences of drug abuse at an assembly on Thursday.

By Ava Faghani

Content warning: This article contains references to substance use and sexual abuse.

Whitman parent Marc Hausman and Assistant State’s Attorney Debbie Feinstein spoke to students at an assembly during third period on Thursday about the consequences of drug abuse and the signs of dating abuse.

The assembly was a part of Whitman’s second annual “IMPACT Week,” a school and SGA-sponsored initiative that aims to educate students on the consequences of risky behavior and offers resources to help them navigate young adulthood safely. 

During the assembly, Marc opened up about his struggle to forgive himself after his son, sophomore Landen Hausman, fatally overdosed on fentanyl in January 2022. Marc described in detail the circumstances of his son’s death, up to the moment he and his family found Landen on a bathroom floor. 

“He understood the choice he was making and he still made that choice,” Marc said.

He also warned students about the dangers of drug dealers, like the 24-year-old dealer who “groom[ed]” Landen into purchasing counterfeit Percocet pills laced with fentanyl. Court records revealed a series of texts between Landen and the dealer, who now faces federal charges for distributing the fentanyl that led to Landen’s death.

The best way for students to honor Landen’s legacy is by making smart choices and remembering their loved ones, he said.

“You honor Landen by honoring yourself,” Marc said. “Think about the people who care about you and let that guide you to making a smarter decision.”

Debbie Feinstein, who leads the Special Victims Division of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, then discussed healthy relationship practices, consent and teen dating violence prevention. She urged students to practice “affirmative consent,” which extends beyond the understanding that “no means no,” according to Feinstein. 

Junior Caroline Higgins appreciated the speakers’ rawness during the assembly, she said.

“I thought Mr. Hausman’s honesty was extremely valuable,” Higgins said. “His bravery to share such a raw, emotional story to the school and a room full of people that knew Landen was admirable.”