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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: 1) by hoochiecoochieman on Monday May 19 2014, @12:48PM

    by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:48PM (#45189)

    If the precious little flowers don't like pictures of that kind, they should have taken the "gardening" course, instead of something called "human reproduction, evolution and sexuality". I know what I would tell them, if I was the teacher: "Fuck off!"

    Come on, let other people live. If one is so fucking sensitive, stay at home.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Monday May 19 2014, @02:35PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 19 2014, @02:35PM (#45229)

    I know what I would tell them, if I was the teacher: "Fuck off!"

    I thought the purpose of showing the STD pictures was to encourage them NOT to do that ;-)

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:42PM (#45362)

      No one gets herpes from intercourse with bug spray.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @05:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @05:04PM (#45291)

    I know what I would tell them, if I was the teacher: "Fuck off!"

    Strangely, given the context, this seems like an eminently reasonable response.