4 Students' Opinions on Trigger Warnings
Trigger warnings have been causing great debate among academics around the country. Should teachers use them in the classroom? Before diving into this topic, let’s define what a trigger warning is.
I would define a trigger warning as a statement that comes before a reading, show, etc. that warns the reader or viewer of sensitive content. Teachers have been advised to use trigger warnings in case a student has posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and could be upset by content in the classroom. Some teachers are worried that this is becoming a form of censorship, and authors are not thrilled with having a warning placed on their work. But what do students think? I went around campus and asked four students what their personal opinion on trigger warnings was, and here are their responses.
In favor of trigger warnings:
Student 1: “I think we should use them. I feel like it’s only ethical to warn people because some topics can be really triggering and sensitive for people. I think the author can get over it and understand that some people may not be able to handle the content.”
Indifferent to trigger warnings:
Student 2: “I honestly am indifferent to them. I think that it coddles people and assumes that people can’t handle certain things, but I also think that it’s important because people with mental illness may be forced to watch or read something they may react to.”
OK in a classroom setting, but not outside:
Student 3: “I believe that trigger warnings should be looked at on a circumstantial basis. I do not think it is critical for an author to be obligated to put out a trigger warning due to the fact it diminishes the ambiguity of books, films, and other forms of media. In my opinion, the purpose of this form of media is to provide the reader/viewer with the ability to have their own opinions and interpretations with no pre-assumptions because it is supposed to create an escape to reality.
“It is an individual’s personal decision to continue viewing or reading if something displeases them, but it is wrong, in a sense, to baby the audience of the author. However, I do believe in a classroom setting a teacher should use trigger warnings because the classroom setting should be a place where people are free to express themselves and not feel as uncomfortable or be put in a setting where their learning is affected due to their past experiences.”
Leaning towards not using trigger warnings:
Student 4: “I think that although I don’t necessarily disagree with trigger warnings, the people that could possibly be affected by the sensitive topic can offer personal experiences that can make the discussion that much more valuable.”
So where do I stand on the matter? I feel that trigger warnings are not a form of censorship and could be used in a classroom. Schools and teachers should not start banning books because of sensitive topics because these topics are helping students grow. However, those suffering from PTSD who could possibly suffer a breakdown in class and feel ostracized need to have this warning. It is inconsiderate and unfair to not think of those suffering. Another possible solution? Providing more support for students with PTSD through the school system. Having more resources for students to use is always a great option.
When it comes to trigger warnings, no one knows the right answer. There will always be people for or against them, but it is important to start having a conversation about trigger warnings as it becomes more prevalent in the classroom today.
Apply to Write for Uloop NewsJoin the Uloop News Team
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Campus Life Articles
Recent Tufts News Articles
TUFTS Housing Listings
WRITE FOR ULOOPApply to Write for Uloop News
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP 5 NEWS ARTICLES
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeBoston CollegeBoston UniversityBrandeis UniversityHarvard UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyNortheastern UniversityTufts UniversityClark UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts-LowellUniversity of Massachusetts-BostonWorcester State CollegeBentley CollegeWheaton CollegeMount Holyoke CollegeLesley UniversityHampshire CollegeSuffolk UniversityWestfield State CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts DartmouthWilliams CollegeAmerican International CollegeAmherst CollegeAnna Maria CollegeAssumption CollegeBabson CollegeBay Path CollegeBecker CollegeBerklee College of MusicBoston Architectural CollegeBridgewater State CollegeCambridge CollegeElms CollegeCollege of the Holy CrossCurry CollegeDean CollegeEastern Nazarene CollegeEmerson CollegeEmmanuel CollegeEndicott CollegeFisher CollegeFitchburg State CollegeFramingham State CollegeGordon CollegeGordon-Conwell Theological SeminaryLasell CollegeMassachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsMassachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health ScienceMassachusetts Maritime AcademyMerrimack CollegeMount Ida CollegeNew England School of LawNewbury CollegeNichols CollegeRegis CollegeSalem State CollegeSimmons CollegeSmith CollegeSpringfield CollegeStonehill CollegeThe New England Institute of ArtUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School WorcesterWellesley CollegeWentworth Institute of TechnologyWestern New England CollegeWestfield State CollegeWheelock CollegeWorcester Polytechnic InstituteAndover Newton Theological SchoolBenjamin Franklin Institute of TechnologyBerkshire Community College Bristol Community College Bunker Hill Community College Cape Cod Community CollegeGreenfield Community College Massachusetts Bay Community CollegeMassasoit Community College Middlesex Community College (MA)Mount Wachusett Community CollegeNorth Shore Community College Northern Essex Community CollegeQuinsigamond Community College Springfield Technical Community CollegeAilano School of CosmetologyAlexander AcademyAssabet Valley Regional Technical SchoolBancroft School of Massage TherapyBay State School of TechnologyBentley UniversityBlackstone Valley Vocational Regional School DistrictBlue Hills Regional Technical SchoolBoston Baptist CollegeBoston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis IncBranford Hall Career Institute-Springfield CampusCatherine Hinds Institute of EstheticsCharles H McCann Technical SchoolConway School of Landscape DesignCortiva Institute-BostonDiGrigoli School of CosmetologyDiman Regional Technical InstituteEINE IncEmpire Beauty School-BostonEmpire Beauty School-FraminghamEmpire Beauty School-HyannisEmpire Beauty School-LowellEmpire Beauty School-MaldenEpiscopal Divinity SchoolEverest Institute-BrightonEverest Institute-ChelseaFINE Mortuary CollegeFranklin W Olin College of EngineeringGreater Lowell Technical SchoolHallmark Institute of PhotographyHellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of TheologyHenris School of Hair DesignHult International Business SchoolITT Technical Institute-NorwoodITT Technical Institute-WilmingtonJolie Hair and Beauty Academy-LudlowJupiter Beauty AcademyLa Baron Hairdressing Academy-BrocktonLa Baron Hairdressing Academy-New BedfordLe Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-CambridgeLincoln Technical Institute-BrocktonLincoln Technical Institute-SomervilleLowell Academy Hairstyling InstituteMansfield Beauty Schools-QuincyMansfield Beauty Schools-SpringfieldMarinello School of Beauty-NorthamptonMassachusetts General Hospital Dietetic InternshipMassachusetts School of LawMedical Professional InstituteMGH Institute of Health ProfessionsMildred Elley-Pittsfield CampusMillennium Training InstituteMontserrat College of ArtMotoring Technical Training InstituteNational Aviation Academy of New EnglandNational Graduate School of Quality ManagementNew England College of Business and FinanceNew England School of AcupunctureNew England Tractor Trailer Training School of MassachusettsNorth Bennet Street SchoolNorthpoint Bible CollegePope St John XXIII National SeminaryPorter and Chester Institute of CantonPorter and Chester Institute of ChicopeePorter and Chester Institute of WestboroughPorter and Chester Institute of WoburnPortfolio Center - WalthamRob Roy Academy-Fall RiverRob Roy Academy-TauntonSalter College-ChicopeeSalter College-West BoylstonSalter School-New BedfordSchool of the Museum of Fine Arts-BostonShawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical SchoolSignature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of NursingSoutheastern Technical InstituteSouthern Worcester County Regional Voc School DistrictSpa Tech Institute-IpswichSpa Tech Institute-PlymouthThe New England Conservatory of MusicToni & Guy Hairdressing Academy-WorcesterUniversity of Phoenix-MassachusettsUrban College of Boston
- By State
- By City