Lowering the Trauma Bar


More than a hundred faculty members at Ball State University signed a letter to the student newspaper saying, in part, “We support our students of color as they deal with the trauma of these events and navigate its fallout.”

The traumatic events, as it turns out, are that a marketing professor asked a black student to move to a different seat in the classroom and the student declined to move.

First, why make a racial thing out of it? If my son, who is not black, were asked by a college professor to move seats, my hope is that he would would move seats, and if he didn’t want to move, he’d move anyway.

Certainly there’s room for personal interpretation, but to me a traumatic event would be, say, losing a limb, or witnessing a murder. Being asked to move seats in a classroom is not a traumatic event.

I teach classes and I not infrequently politely ask students to move if it seems that they’ve got themselves on an island too far away from the rest of the group.

Who is helped by revving up numskulls to think that being asked to switch seats in a classroom is a traumatic event?

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