Haidt And Lukianoff's The Coddling Of The American Mind

Superior Essays
University students who insist on censorship by a college administration when a topic, issue or idea causes them emotional distress, effectively denies all who participate in the academic setting the basic right of freedom of speech in a venue that should be open to free exchanges of ideas. To take away topics that give them emotional stress, students have come up with a solution to the issue, trigger warnings. According to Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s The Coddling of the American Mind, trigger warnings are alerts for professors to give their students if trauma-trigging material is going to be taught (Haidt and Lukianoff 44). These trigger warnings fall under the category microagressions. Microagressions are words or actions that other …show more content…
According to Haidt and Lukianoff, “The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into ‘safe spaces’ where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable” (Haidt and Lukianoff 44). To the students, the goal is to create restrictions on the academic discussions about uncomfortable topics by implanting trigger warnings. To them, trigger warnings will help them feel more comfortable in collage by knowing what material to expect as they can plan to skip the lesson. While trigger warnings makes them feel more secure, it destroys the purpose of universities. Universities help strengthen students’ academic minds and to prepare them for the real world. Lessons are forgotten because the erased discussions. Jon Overton, a student from the University of Iowa, writes about a similar view. In his essay, Beware the Trigger Warning, Overton writes how placing trigger warnings on topics in universities is difficult to do because there can be various triggers, things like “hot dogs to Nazis to Mike Tyson to the color yellow” (Overton). Students have different ways of dealing with traumatic events. Different things trigger different emotions. Some are triggered by a discussion, while others are triggered by an ordinary object. The similarity is that their emotions produce a trigger as the memories are triggered by how uncomfortable the student is by the discussion or object. The more impact …show more content…
In her essay, Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm, Jennifer Medina argues how trigger warnings do not censor literary works, but alert students of works that might trigger a past trauma. Teachers believe they need to “deal with [students’ issues] respectfully and seriously” (Medina 94). As professors, they need to have the students trust them, just like students need to believe that teachers will consider their problems that affect their focus in learning. Brianne Richson, a student from the University of Iowa similarly agrees in her essay Colleges Should Adopt Trigger Warnings. She argues how it is not fair for traumatized students to be reminded of those events. Colleges have to make the environment tolerable for students instead of “a living hell” (Richson). If students are being remembered of past events they wish not to remember in a place where discussions on those topics are required, then they will not have the desire to be in those classes. Students will want to get away from those discussions in any way they

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