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This Professor Sparked A Debate For Giving A "Trigger Warning" To His Class

"I have been giving a trigger warning on the first day of class every semester. This is it: This is going to be a difficult class."

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He recently went viral for a video (that now has 1.8 million views) on The Baltimore Sun's Facebook page. In it, he gives a "trigger warning" to new students of his editing class.

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In addition to teaching at the university, McIntyre also serves as the night content production editor for the Baltimore Sun.

He goes on to warn that his course is "unrelievedly, thoroughly, appallingly dull."

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"And we will go over texts of appalling dullness, and you will be charged with taking what is defective, and rendering it merely mediocre," he said. "Because that is pretty much the most that editing can ever accomplish."

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"My manner and my sense of humor may not be to your taste," McIntyre warned in the video.

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"But one of the reasons you are in a university is to experience different personality types, different senses of humor, different approaches to the world," he added. "I am not the only jackass you will ever encounter in your adult working life. Use this semester as an opportunity to polish your coping skills."

McIntyre told BuzzFeed that his inspiration for the video was the recitation of the prison rules in Cool Hand Luke. He has also since responded to the criticism of his usage of "trigger warning" in a piece for The Baltimore Sun.

"Obviously, given how widespread sexual abuse and exposure to physical violence are in our culture, it is incumbent on all who teach to be sensitive to the difficulties students may have in dealing with sensitive material," he writes.

"But it is also obvious, or perhaps should be, that the requirement of trigger warnings and safe spaces is ripe for abuse. ... It is not hard to imagine how trigger-warning and safe-spaces policies could be exploited to stifle anything that conflicts with a student’s preconceived beliefs and attitudes, leaving the faculty on the defensive and the university hobbled in the free exchange of ideas."

Jarry Lee is the Deputy Books Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jarry Lee at jarry.lee@buzzfeed.com.

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