A public university has instituted a rule that requires all instructors to use “trigger warnings” regarding the introduction of explicit and triggering materials used for lectures, discussions, and homework assignments. “Instructors are required to offer appropriate warning and accommodation regarding the introduction” of subjects such as sexual assault and any depiction of sexual violence, graphic images of extreme violence, mutilation, mayhem, gore, and graphic images from any genocide including the Holocaust. Instructors who do not comply with these rules will be subject to discipline by the University. The punishments consist of sensitivity training, suspension, forced apologies to students, and termination. Failure to submit to punishments will result in automatic termination. Professor Duane is charged by the school because he has violated the school policy by leading a discussion on sexual assault without providing an appropriate trigger warning.
Are the words used by professor Duane’s discussion of sexual assault creating a clear and present danger? Was the nature of the words executed with malicious intent for the purpose of causing distress or harm to students?
Does the university policy, mandating instructors to use “trigger warnings” regarding explicit and triggering materials, cause an undue burden on Professor Duane’s freedom of expression under the first amendment?
Under the right to privacy laws in the fourteenth amendment, did the…