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 University of Michigan News Articles
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Housing Listings
WRITE FOR ULOOPApply to Write for Uloop News
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP 5 NEWS ARTICLES
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeCentral Michigan UniversityEastern Michigan UniversityGrand Valley State UniversityUniversity of MichiganMichigan State UniversityWayne State UniversityWestern Michigan UniversityOakland UniversityDavenport UniversityFerris State UniversityAquinas CollegeDelta CollegeLansing Community CollegeMontcalm Community CollegeNorthwestern Michigan CollegeNorthern Michigan UniversityAdrian CollegeAlbion CollegeAlma CollegeAndrews UniversityBaker CollegeCalvin CollegeCollege for Creative StudiesCornerstone UniversityHope CollegeKalamazoo CollegeKettering UniversityLake Superior State UniversityLawrence Technological UniversityMadonna UniversityMarygrove CollegeMichigan Technological UniversityNorthwood UniversityOlivet CollegeRochester CollegeSaginaw Valley State UniversitySiena Heights UniversitySpring Arbor UniversityThomas M. Cooley Law SchoolUniversity of Detroit MercyUniversity of Michigan-DearbornUniversity of Michigan-FlintWalsh College of Accountancy and BusinessGrand Rapids Community CollegeWashtenaw Community CollegeKalamazoo Valley Community CollegeFinlandia UniversityAlpena Community College Bay De Noc Community CollegeBay Mills Community College Glen Oaks Community College Gogebic Community College Henry Ford CollegeJackson CollegeKellogg Community College Kirtland Community College Lake Michigan College Macomb Community College Mid Michigan Community College Mott Community College Muskegon Community College North Central Michigan College Oakland Community College Oakland Community College- Auburn HillsOakland Community College- Highland LakesOakland Community College- Royal OakSchoolcraft College Southwestern Michigan College St Clair County Community CollegeWayne County Community College DistrictWest Shore Community College Abcott InstituteAnn Arbor Institute of Massage TherapyBaker College Center for Graduate StudiesBaker College of Allen ParkBaker College of CadillacBaker College of Clinton TownshipBaker College of JacksonBaker College of OwossoBaker College of Port HuronBayshire Academy of Beauty Craft IncBlue Water College of Cosmetology IncBrighton Institute of CosmetologyCadillac Institute of CosmetologyCalvin Theological SeminaryCareer Quest Learning Centers-LansingCarnegie InstituteCleary UniversityCranbrook Academy of ArtDavenport University - Treasury Site DimondaleDavenport University-Battle Creek LocationDavenport University-Flint LocationDavenport University-Grand Rapids DowntownDavenport University-Holland LocationDavenport University-Kalamazoo LocationDavenport University-Lansing LocationDavenport University-Livonia LocationDavenport University-Midland LocationDavenport University-Saginaw LocationDavenport University-Traverse City LocationDavenport University-Warren LocationDavid Pressley School of CosmetologyDeVry University-MichiganDorsey Business Schools-DearbornDorsey Business Schools-LansingDorsey Business Schools-Madison HeightsDorsey Business Schools-RosevilleDorsey Business Schools-SaginawDorsey Business Schools-SouthgateDorsey Business Schools-Waterford PontiacDorsey Business Schools-WayneDouglas J Aveda InstituteEcumenical Theological SeminaryEmpire Beauty School-MichiganEverest Institute-DearbornEverest Institute-DetroitEverest Institute-Grand RapidsEverest Institute-KalamazooEverest Institute-SouthfieldExcel Academies of CosmetologyExcel Academies of Cosmetology-TroyFlint Institute of Barbering IncFocus-Hope Information Technologies CenterFrench Academy of CosmetologyGallery College of BeautyGreat Lakes Christian CollegeHillsdale Beauty CollegeHoughton Lake Institute of CosmetologyIn Session Arts of Cosmetology Beauty SchoolInternational Cosmetology AcademyITT Technical Institute-CantonITT Technical Institute-Swartz CreekITT Technical Institute-TroyKeweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community CollegeKuyper CollegeM J Murphy Beauty College of Mount PleasantManthano Christian CollegeMarketti Academy of CosmetologyMichigan Barber School IncMichigan Career and Technical InstituteMichigan State University-College of LawMoody Theological Seminary and Graduate School--MichiganP&A Scholars Beauty SchoolPaul Mitchell the School-EscanabaPaul Mitchell the School-MichiganProtege AcademyRegency Beauty Institute-LansingRoss Medical Education Center-Ann ArborRoss Medical Education Center-BrightonRoss Medical Education Center-CantonRoss Medical Education Center-DavisonRoss Medical Education Center-LansingRoss Medical Education Center-New BaltimoreRoss Medical Education Center-PortageRoss Medical Education Center-TaylorSacred Heart Major SeminarySalon AcademySchool of Missionary Aviation TechnologySharps Academy of Hair StylingSouth University-NoviTaylortown School of Beauty IncThe Art Institute of MichiganThe Salon Spa AcademyTwin City Beauty CollegeWest Michigan College of Barbering and BeautyWestern Theological SeminaryYeshiva Gedolah of Greater Detroit
- By State
- By City