A lecturer at the University College London is telling his “archaeologies of modern conflict” students that they can feel free to leave during class if they’re concerned that any of the material might be too triggering for them to handle.
According to an article in the Daily Mail, the lecturer, Gabriel Moshenska, warned his students that the class will cover “historical events that may be disturbing, even traumatising,” and that they can “step outside” “without penalty” if they’re concerned something might make them uncomfortable.
Moshenska said he offered the option mainly out of concern for military veterans, but that no one has actually used it yet. That may be a small win for sanity, but the fact that Moshenska even offered it in the first place is still ridiculous. After all, the name of the class is “archaeologies of modern conflict.” Anyone enrolled went in knowing, based on what words mean, that they had signed up up to study archeology as related to “modern conflict,” and I’m sure that they were smart enough to know that “conflict” probably referred to things like war and not things like text-message fights.
Sure, history can be disturbing. War can be disturbing. Bones can be disturbing. But, as Reason’s Robby Soave points out, “if digging up bones or discussing warfare is triggering for a student, then that student probably shouldn’t be studying archaeology,” just as “people who faint at the sight of blood shouldn’t become nurses.”
I mean, seriously. You know what is the mark of a good archaeologist? Not being terrified of archaeology. College is about preparing for a career, and if you’re too scared to do what you need to do to prepare for the one you picked, then pick something else. It really is that simple.