Diego,
Cindy
11

Cindy,

It sucks that your school deregistered that club, it does. But how does that even remotely equate to trigger warnings? Did a student request a trigger warning for the Jewish students participating in the Palestine conversation? How did that end in the club getting de-registered? (This is legitimate questions, I am curious as to how one warning request could end up deregistering a club?)

To rephrase your thesis, and you can correct me if I am wrong: Safe spaces have caused many problems at campuses and have been used to silence others. Both Safe spaces and trigger warnings get, in general, advocated by the same people — both safe spaces and trigger warnings share the same dangerous ideology. In fact, the bad claims on trigger warnings are so dangerously close to censorship as have been safe spaces, that we should get rid of trigger warnings and safe spaces all together.

If this in fact your statement, I can see the things that don’t add up.

Safe spaces are a different theory and practice than trigger warnings. Although advocated for by, in general, the same people, the end goal of both practices are very different. Trigger warnings don’t have the power to revise, reduce, or delete course material anywhere, whereas safe spaces can be used to request that subjects don’t be brought up at all.

To address head on what you requested I address. If in fact it ended up in course material censorship, it would go back to my original thesis; trigger warnings should not be the reason for course material getting scrapped. No one is arguing to the contrary of that.

On Harvard, using the same articles of people speaking out against trigger warnings:

“It’s unclear how widespread demands for trigger warnings — at least to the extent that they make professors think twice about teaching sexual assault laws — really are. But law professors at institutions around the country said they’d developed sensitive ways to approach the subject in the classrooms.”

So first off, this is can be addressed in a simple matter of learning HOW to approach sensitive material. Which in fact, would ease many trigger warning requets.

“… I showed “Capturing the Friedmans,” an acclaimed documentary about a criminal-sex-abuse investigation, to my law students. Some students complained that I should have given them a “trigger warning” beforehand; others suggested that I shouldn’t have shown the film at all.”

Do you notice it? Some requested a trigger warning, some suggested the film shouldn’t be taught.

In that scenario, trigger warnings might actually deter the professor from not showing the film, as instead of getting more complaints that the film not be shown, the teacher can protect herself by arguing that the students were given fair warning on the films material.

At the end of the day, course material censorship HAS ALWAYS been a problem. Evolution? Sex Education? Education on religions OTHER than Christianity?

On those matters, they didn’t need trigger warnings, they simply legislated and stigmatized those subjects until schools got into trouble whenever those subjects were even brought up.

Trigger warnings are different conceptually and in practice to censorship requests. As mentioned above, even the professors’ examples about the misuse of trigger warnings flat out say that requests for trigger warnings aren’t used as requests for censorship.

This entire debate can be best summed up by this statement: “Some law professors think their students are too “afraid” to study rape law. Their students say they’re not really listening to their concerns.”

Trigger warnings aren’t the conduit through which students demand to control what is and isn’t taught in their classrooms, to request something be removed from a course, a trigger warning won’t do it, because even when the teacher complies to a bogus trigger warning request, all the teacher is asked to do is warn the student of the material, not remove it.

Also, resent me all you’d like; you did provide anecdotal data, not statistical. Until I see a report with a survey of 200+ schools regarding the use and misuse of trigger warnings and and their impact on education censorship, you have not provided statistical data, which Dr. Price did by using the report.

I will refrain from any comment on social media usage, because as we know, anything on social media has a tendency to be perverted and abused beyond recognition, i.e. the harambe memes.

I hope you can take these things into account. I defend trigger warnings because I believe it’s important. I tried to the best of my ability to understand your underlying thesis, what you believe and go off that. Not as a way to diminish your ideas but to concisely address them.

It’s funny that we agree on the core of your sentiment; we both believe that course material should not be censored, and that students sentiments on the matter should not be the reason why something should or should not be taught.

We disagree that trigger warnings are a tool for censorship, and it is my opinion that they cannot be used for that purpose.

Teachers are seeing this new tool and they are scared of it. It seems to me that they are, like you, pairing requests to be warned about material to the requests on censorship on the same material.

Therein lies the problem, because again, it’s taking a necessary coping mechanism away from people trying to cope with extreme trauma.

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