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Post Reply Oxford law students given 'trigger warnings' before traumatic material
Posted 5/10/16
Spoiled rotten rich kids, is all I can say.
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Posted 5/10/16

LadyPsychic wrote:

On one hand, I'm okay with warning people about difficult subject matter. Heck, long before "trigger warnings" became a thing fanfic writers such as myself have been putting warnings on our stories for stuff like rape, yaoi/yuri, sexual situations, character death, and so forth. After all, people can't complain about the subject matter if they were warned about it ahead of time (and if they still do, then they look like idiots). And really, what is worse: warning people that there may be difficult subject matter or outright banning said subject matter? I say banning is worse, and if trigger warnings prevent banning of subject matter, then so be it.

On the other hand, these people are wanting to become lawyers and judges. In my opinion, if you can't handle stuff like rape, violence, and murder then you shouldn't go into law (since lawyers, judges, and so forth have to deal with that stuff on a fairly regular basis).


Trigger warnings do have a purpose that I can certainly imagine being justified in a law school. The original purpose of trigger warnings is to warn people before hand of descriptions of traumatic events. Why? So that if a person who is currently affected by trauma happens to see this material, they will already know what's in store for them and can mentally prepare themselves. Being triggered isn't supposed to be about being exposed to material you feel offended by. It means a past trauma you suffered has been "triggered" and you are reliving it in your head as a result. I don't know what its like to have PTSD, but I doubt that's a pleasant experience for anyone.

I can see a situation where a student, who may at one point been subjected to sexual assault and have PTSD, is reading a case that includes graphic descriptions of a rape and they find themselves reliving their own personal attack. This actually seems fairly justified in my eyes. In fact, its part of healing trauma, as it aids the victim by letting them face it without having the unpleasant sensation of being thrust into flashbacks because they didn't know beforehand to prepare themselves.

As for whether its right for future leaders to be taking part in this. I fully expect any student that refuses to engage with the study material for fear of being triggered to wash right out of their classes. This will apply whether they're trauma victims or not. I simply don't believe that a law student who would rather walk away from traumatic material will actually be able to make it through a profession that would make engaging with it a job requirement. While there are certainly stupid cases where "trigger warning" is thrown around like candy, this actually seems to have a justifiable reason, even if it might be exploited by future washouts.
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Posted 5/10/16

machinaprecis wrote:
Two: Not all lawyers work with murder. There's no reason an environmental or corporate lawyer would normally deal with a rape case. Second, what if a student attending law school ended up getting raped, two days before the sex crimes lecture? It's reasonable to assume they would not want to talk about it right then, but might be ready at a later date.


Seconding this! Lawyers that work with copyright or civil cases don't have to be concerned with gory details of criminal law.

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Posted 5/10/16 , edited 6/7/16
Good thing I'm studying law at a uni that doesn't treat its students like fragile little babies. The world is such an oversensitive mess right now, that I don't know whether to laugh or laugh harder.
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Posted 5/10/16
chill bro. most of them will go into corporate / financial law, and very few will ever complete any law suits. settlements, taxes and compliance for big corporations is where the money is.


every movie you have ever watched has a "trigger warning" about violence / sexual content / offensive language, as well as an age rating. are you upset over that as well?


this is typical blend of tabloid journalist sensationalizing a none-story to sell news and white men who have never experienced institutional discrimination crying about an issue that doesn't affect them.
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Posted 5/11/16 , edited 5/11/16
I would think it a practical approach for students to review course syllabi and discuss any potential problem areas with instructors privately beforehand as part of the registration process if they have concerns, and in my experience faculty are open to such discussions and provide syllabi quite freely upon request if for no other reason than to ensure that prospective attendees are covering all of their administrative bases. Sometimes old (but representative) syllabi are available even without having to request them. They're just posted.

Perhaps advisory statements play a useful role for addressing frequently expressed concerns or for putting out advance notice that some particularly sensitive material will be covered, but caution should be taken to avoid putting them out too loosely. Warnings about explicit language or racial epithets strike me as potentially too loose while warnings about graphic depictions or discussion of sexual assault seem appropriate information to help people decide if a course is right for them.

Of course, with all of that said I don't think degree tracks and/or course material should be designed to enable avoidance of any and all potentially distressing material, and it is an important part of the educational experience that one sincerely confront potentially distressing subjects. I'm confident that most administrators and instructors at tertiary institutions employing content warnings would agree, and it is perfectly reasonable to expect that even if a student opts to avoid a particular degree track or course for the sake of avoiding a particular subject or set of subjects that they nevertheless substantively challenge themselves somehow during their tertiary education. Otherwise, what's the point?
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Posted 5/11/16 , edited 5/11/16
If I'm not mistaken, I believe that students are already informed of the lecture topics ahead of time, which provides ample opportunity for them to do whatever. Under those circumstances, any who wait until the last minute to abruptly "develop discomfort" are viewed as pretty damn foolish, in my eyes. I sure hope that those who back out of such lectures and whatnot do not intend to aid in criminal cases involving sexual and other physical violence.
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20 / M / Bundaberg, Queens...
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Posted 5/11/16
I sometimes wonder about our society and worry
In Australia some programs give a warning if an
Aboriginal in the film has died as its deemed offensive
To show them or some shit


That's a trigger warning I have seen since I was a kid
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 5/11/16
My teachers warned us of movies showing violence and negligence before it was standard.
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Posted 5/11/16
Warning the students is a good thing I think. It gives students a chance to mentally prepare, and that's appropriate for undergrad students. Blanket permission to leave the classroom (if it doesn't carry the same consequences that one would normally face for missing class) seems out of place though. But it's not clear that's exactly what's happening, nor that students aren't still responsible for learning the content in some way.

Students who do find themselves often unable to cope even when given the warning possibly will discover they aren't well suited for certain types of roles in the field, but not every job will require the same kind of exposure to those kinds of disturbing events.
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28 / M / USA! USA! USA!
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Posted 5/11/16 , edited 6/7/16

machinaprecis wrote:


maxgale wrote:

And people wonder why I loathe SJWs.


I'm not surprised you think that they're wrong, because on many counts they are, but I think that it's pretty silly and counterproductive that you loathe them.

It seems like this really upsets you, but to be fair, the topic was in the subject field, so maybe you shouldn't have read it if you were going to get so ... triggered?




If someone shits in your backyard, would you loathe them too?
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Posted 5/11/16
Did someone say triggered?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnN0SP9SrN8
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Posted 5/11/16 , edited 5/11/16

BlueOni wrote:
Of course, with all of that said I don't think degree tracks and/or course material should be designed to enable avoidance of any and all potentially distressing material, and it is an important part of the educational experience that one sincerely confront potentially distressing subjects. I'm confident that most administrators and instructors at tertiary institutions employing content warnings would agree, and it is perfectly reasonable to expect that even if a student opts to avoid a particular degree track or course for the sake of avoiding a particular subject or set of subjects that they nevertheless substantively challenge themselves somehow during their tertiary education. Otherwise, what's the point?


Well, there might not be a point in getting worked up about some issues. Honestly, I remember finding some of that stuff depressing and not particularly useful, back then. Watching the news can also get depressing when it's one bad thing after another. At some point, you do have to know your limits and avoid that stuff.

I think there's some reason to the madness of having an out. Obviously, we should tough it out in most every case, but society seems to be intent on informing on all kinds of tragedies and conflicts, so I could see it going too far and being absolutely necessary to let people measure how much of it they can take. We don't want to become high-strung Tumblr users, even if they're the ones reveling in the "trigger warning". There's a difference between reveling it and being reasonable with it, perhaps.
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Posted 5/11/16
Trigger warnings, microaggressions, safe spaces, and other related nonsense are ruining the millennials and affecting the rest of society more than we realize (turning universities into jokes, openly advocating for censorship, very open to limiting and/or taking away free speech). Not only are they idiots, they are also dangerous.

These people are going to leave from these universities that pamper and cater to their idiocy expecting the world to treat them like fragile snowflakes. They are in for an extremely rude awakening. The world can be a very, very nasty place sometimes, and you can't make it through life if you find everything offensive and "triggering".
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Posted 5/11/16

Kavalion wrote:

Well, there might not be a point in getting worked up about some issues. Honestly, I remember finding some of that stuff depressing and not particularly useful, back then. Watching the news can also get depressing when it's one bad thing after another. At some point, you do have to know your limits and avoid that stuff.

I think there's some reason to the madness of having an out. Obviously, we should tough it out in most every case, but society seems to be intent on informing on all kinds of tragedies and conflicts, so I could see it going too far and being absolutely necessary to let people measure how much of it they can take. We don't want to become high-strung Tumblr users, even if they're the ones reveling in the "trigger warning". There's a difference between reveling it and being reasonable with it, perhaps.


I think it's important to bear in mind, however, that students are given some latitude with the particular coursework they take on while pursuing a degree and that following a particular degree track is a wholly voluntary action. Sure, I'm asking that people be expected to step out of their comfort zones and engage information they may find distressing, but I still want them to be able to choose the particular sort of information they will be exposed to. If someone is terribly frightened by even the notion of handling hazardous chemicals I'm not going to insist that they be forced to take an organic chemistry laboratory course, but I will expect them to step out of their comfort zone in some capacity of their own choosing.

Or have I missed your point?
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