Anti-Free Speech, Political Correctness Rules In Student 'Safe Spaces’

Anti-Free Speech, Political Correctness Rules In Student 'Safe Spaces’

Anti-Free Speech, Political Correctness Rules In Student 'Safe Spaces’

As the law professor prepared for her class on sexual assault, she opened her emails to find a strange request: could she give assurances that the content of the class would not be included in the end-of-year exam, her students asked?

They were concerned there might be victims of sexual assault among their classmates, they said. Anyone in that position could be traumatised at being confronted with such material in the exam hall.

Across the United States, lecturers have received similar messages from students demanding that modules of academic study – ranging from legal topics to well-known works of literature – be scrubbed from exams, and sometimes from the syllabus altogether.

Jeannie Suk, a professor at Harvard Law School, which numbers President Barack Obama among its many notable alumni, cited an example where a student had asked a colleague “not to use the word 'violate’ – as in 'does this conduct violate the law’ – because the term might trigger distress”.

Far from the bra-burning, devil-may-care attitudes at universities in the Sixties and Seventies, today’s generation of American students increasingly appears to yearn for a campus ruled by dogmatic political correctness, in which faculty members assume the role of parents more than purveyors of academic rigour.

The lexicon of college has changed: students now speak about “micro-aggressions”, “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces”.

The notion of the “safe space” first emerged to describe a place of refuge for people exposed to racial prejudice or sexism. But the phrase has changed meaning to the point where now it often implies protection from “exposure to ideas that make one uncomfortable”, according to Nadine Strossen, a prominent law professor and former head of the American Civil Liberties Union.

 

Read full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/12022041/How-...