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Trigger warning! All great universities use them

Trigger warnings are warnings that the ensuing content contains strong writing or images which could unsettle those with mental health difficulties. Sorry we didn't forewarn you about the disturbing comic strip above

The term ‘trauma trigger’ means an experience that causes someone to recall a previous traumatic memory. A ‘trigger warning’ refers to the much-debated warnings in US – and even increasingly in European universities – that pre-warn students of material that is somehow deemed sensitive.

Arguing for trigger warnings, Angus Johnston, a history professor at the City University of New York, in the United States, said that they can be a part of “sound pedagogy,” according to Wikipedia. He notes that students encountering potentially triggering material are “coming to it as whole people with a wide range of experiences, and that the journey we’re going on together may at times be painful. It’s not coddling them to acknowledge that. In fact, it’s just the opposite.”

Critics of trigger warnings call it a form of student narcissism. Other critics say the trigger warnings actually reinforce post-traumatic stress.

Comic strip by Christoffer Zieler.

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