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Roderick Cook | Rethinking the 'true academic experience'

Still, some who recognize this fact think that prefacing something with a trigger warning somehow disrupts the intellectual experience of reading or viewing it. As the DP editorial put it, “It is sometimes deemed necessary for students to experience visceral reactions to the material with which they come into contact. The purpose of such material is to be taken by surprise, offended and even, at times, disturbed.”

This statement shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between being surprised or offended and being traumatized. Furthermore, it exposes the unsettling fact that many people out there genuinely care more about some assumed abstract “true academic experience” than the safety of students.


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