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posted by LaminatorX on Monday May 19 2014, @06:24AM   Printer-friendly

Raw Story summarizes a New York Times report that Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as "trigger warnings," explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.

The debate has left many academics fuming, saying that professors should be trusted to use common sense and that being provocative is part of their mandate. Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace. "Any kind of blanket trigger policy is inimical to academic freedom," said Lisa Hajjar, a sociology professor, who often uses graphic depictions of torture in her courses about war. "Any student can request some sort of individual accommodation, but to say we need some kind of one-size-fits-all approach is totally wrong. The presumption there is that students should not be forced to deal with something that makes them uncomfortable is absurd or even dangerous."

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said, "It is only going to get harder to teach people that there is a real important and serious value to being offended. Part of that is talking about deadly serious and uncomfortable subjects."

A summary of the College Literature, along with the appropriate trigger warnings, assumed or suggested in the article is as follows: Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" (anti-Semitism), Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" (suicide), "The Great Gatsby" (misogynistic violence), and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (racism).

Note: The Raw Story link was provided to provide an alternative to the article source, the New York Times, due to user complaints about the NYT website paywalling their articles.

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @11:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @11:49AM (#45170)

    No company wants to hire a professional victim, particularly after the firestorm Adria Richards brought about. Companies have an interest in not hiring people who are high-risk, and professional victims are exceedingly high-risk to a company, especially a startup. The only "career" that tolerates this horseshit is working for anti-male nonprofits. Everyone else wants nothing to do with it.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday May 19 2014, @12:59PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:59PM (#45191) Journal

    Must be this [venturebeat.com]. What a mess..
    Lesson: Work is business not friends and don't socialize with uptight people. It's doomed.