The great back-and-forth between Lukianoff/Haidt and their critics of “The Coddling of the American Mind” continues. From reader Alan:
That “trigger warning” article was pretty weak on examples. A lot of profs have been forced to explain themselves to pushy students and admins, but is there a single example of a brave prof who actually stood up for their curriculum only to be shut down by the PC brigade? Grow a spine, guys. This isn’t actually a problem.
Another reader piles on:
As a faculty member at a community college in Washington state, I can attest to having experienced and being frustrated with helicopter parents and over-entitled kids, but my God, there is no such thing as college policy that dictates we have to issue trigger warnings. Instructors complain about whiny students, but we wouldn’t survive if we didn’t have thick skins and weren’t able to handle student complaints one way or another. We are in the business of teaching and learning—we know we have to pay attention to how students are absorbing/applying the lessons we prepare.
How many colleges actually have trigger warning policies? Can the authors of this article provide empirical evidence that this coddling they describe is a widespread issue? I sincerely hope and encourage you to follow this article up with more careful journalism.
A follow-up from Lukianoff:
As I said in a previous response, I think people are being unfair to professors when they think that professors are just concerned about “whiny students.” Student complaints can come with real consequences for someone’s livelihood, and unfortunately, administrators are too quick to investigate or punish professors for the claim that they offended students.
I mentioned a few examples earlier. But here’s another example that shows just how easy it is for professors to get in trouble because of student complaints.