Thursday, December 18, 2014

Law School Trigger Warnings?

Inside Higher Ed
December 17th, 2014

Trigger warning policies in college classrooms have been controversial since their inception, with advocates saying they protect students who have had traumatic experiences – primarily sexual assault – from having to relive them as part of their education. Opponents, meanwhile, have argued that trigger warning policies infringe on instructors’ academic freedom and deny students one of the hallmarks of a college education: being made to feel intellectually uncomfortable at times.
That conversation has now reached law schools, based on an essay by Jeannie Suk, a professor of law at Harvard University, that was recently published by The New Yorker.
In her piece, called “The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law,” Suk argues that increased anxiety among her students and colleagues about discussing complicated sexual assault cases is impeding criminal law professors’ ability to do their jobs well – ultimately at the expense of students and the rape victims whom some of them will eventually represent.

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