Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Author of College Bill: "Trigger Warnings Encourage Free Thought and Debate"

Writing in the New York Times, Bailey Loverin, the author of a bill that forces courses at UC Santa Barbara to label possibly "trigger warning" events, believes that "trigger warnings" actually encourage "free thought and debate."

Her piece is titled, "Trigger Warnings Encourage Free Thought and Debate."

"Trigger warning" is defined as "a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content)."

Often, such warnings cause people who were victims of abuse or trauma to leave and not discuss the materials. Frequently, "triggering" material causes debates, discussions, or inanimate objects to be banned or closed down entirely.

However, Loverin believes that "trigger warnings" are not only good, but help freedom of speech and discussion.
Clearly talking about herself, but saying "supporters," Loverin writes, "Supporters contend that they allow survivors the chance to prepare to face the material, adding new perspectives. Without a trigger warning, a survivor might black out, become hysterical or feel forced to leave the room."

She continues, "This effectively stops their learning process. However, with the trigger warning they would be prepared to face uncomfortable material and could better contribute to the discussions or opt to avoid them."

Not only this, but "campus discussions about trigger warnings have lead to widespread discussion and debate on P.T.S.D., mental health and classroom content."

She then comforts the reader, advising them not to "lose sleep over fear mongering and slippery slope arguments."

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