American U students call for academic trigger warnings
- Inside Higher Ed profiles the efforts of American University’s Student Government Association to make trigger warnings mandatory in academic syllabi.
- The student leaders say that the warnings will make academic exploration more robust and accessible to students who may have experienced prior trauma that could be exposed without the warnings.
- American faculty say that warnings could impede the teaching environment, abridge expressive freedoms among teachers and students, and alter course participation.
With heightened apprehensions about the nation’s racial climate, there is an understandable effort from students to ensure that diverse racial space does not invite harmful racial exposure. However, there is also a legitimate concern that students are creating an environment where topics and content itself can be labeled as offensive, which is harmful to the notion of higher education and academic freedom.
Somewhere in the middle is where higher education officials must advance the centrist view, where students can be certain that controversial content can be introduced without a faculty member or student using the content as an opportunity to overtly or covertly interject separatist opinion, and where students can learn to be adults and functional in a world where everything that isn’t ethnically neutral does not require a complaint.
- Inside Higher Ed Pushing trigger warnings
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