Home Book editor Letters to the Editor November 21, 2021: A Perspective on Books, Triggers,...

Letters to the Editor November 21, 2021: A Perspective on Books, Triggers, and Consistency | Letters


A look at the books,

triggers and consistency

As a university English teacher, I meet a growing number of students who want to tell me how the books I teach could ‘trigger’ them. Colleagues with more experience in this area have informed me that I need to take these claims seriously – student anxieties stem from mental health issues or previous trauma of which I might be completely unaware.

For this reason, I have closely followed recent political debates in Virginia. While skeptical of some conservative claims about why a child might be traumatized by a text, I know I would be both cautious and respectful of any student – even a white man – who approached me to discuss their issues. triggers.

That said, hosting works in a number of ways. Conservatives cannot regard as weak or cowardly – “snowflakes” – students who have non-conservative reasons for wanting to avoid particular texts. It’s a simple matter of consistency and courtesy.

It is also important to realize that such accommodations attach to individuals, not to the books themselves.

The recent move across the country to ban works from school and other public libraries is often nothing more than fanaticism. The Spotsylvania County School Board’s decision, as reported in a recent report, was accompanied by calls from some board members to burn books in public. This behavior is reminiscent of the Nazis and other totalitarian regimes. How could he not?