September 10, 2015

YES: Expel People Who Demand Trigger Warnings: If you need trigger warnings in order to learn, then the only warning anyone should hear is a warning against letting you in the classroom.

Let’s get back to Myers’ “just let the poor traumatized kids get the degrees they paid for” argument. No, don’t let them get those degrees. The whole point of those degrees is to signify their bearers possess qualities beyond merely the credit rating to take out vast amounts of student loans. The entire reason college degrees are supposed to be valuable is that they signify a capacity to absorb and process specialized knowledge beyond what non-degree-holders have. This is, in fact, the whole purpose of education generally.

This means if some troubled or weak students have allowed their mental illness to preclude them from absorbing such knowledge, the fault lies not with the college, but with them. Such people are as ineducable as an illiterate English major. The solution is not to expel knowledge from the classroom that is disagreeable to these feeble and fragile minds. It is to expel them. Their place is in a psych ward, not a school, and their money (or, more likely, their parents’) is better spent seeking treatment there than spoiling education for everyone else.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the stigma attached to mental illness exists at least partially because “sufferers” exhibit these sorts of cognitive glass jaws. Why should you be willing to spend time around someone prone to breaking down and blaming you at any moment, let alone take responsibility for them as an employer, supervisor, or especially the sort of educator-cum-substitute-parent that many college administrations try to be? In our lawsuit-happy culture, there is no reason for any rational being to want anyone who is mentally ill nearby if their most visible “advocates” are so fragile they want to see a Shakespeare play labeled like a pack of cigarettes. . . .

It’s not fair to the colleges or to them to expect them to hack it any more than it’s fair to expect someone with easily broken bones to become a body builder. Either the college will have to dumb its educational mission down to the point of meaninglessness, or the extremely damaged will have to put themselves at risk of interminable mental agony. The first option destroys learning; the second destroys people. Better to keep the people incapable of learning away from it.

Read the whole thing.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.