‘Tis the season for making spring semester syllabi, and I thought I’d share the trigger warning statement that I’ve developed over the past year or so. I’m sure it’s far from perfect, but I’m hoping that it addresses the needs of students who do have PTSD (or other traumatic) reactions, while still maintaining a rigorous classroom environment. Many things have been written about trigger warnings, and I tend to fall into the camp of thinking that the good they do for students who really need them is bigger than the harm caused by students who abuse them. So far, this policy has worked fairly well (at least, from my perspective) – allowing students the flexibility to attend to their own mental health while unpholding accountability.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about “trigger warnings” – indicators that something so disturbing as to make participation difficult (i.e. death, dismemberment, assault, gore) will be covered in a particular class. To the best of my knowledge, we will not be dealing with these types themes in this class, but the history of [class topic] can be complicated, and I can’t guarantee that any of …read more