It Pays to Play It Safe
By William Morton
Safe spaces are designed to provide comfort to students seeking refuge from various uncomfortable subjects presented in classroom environments. College’s best experiences come from sifting through the rubble of discomfort and creating a foundation filled with censorship and political correctness. Deviation from such censorship isn’t conducive to the path of enlightenment.
There are some topics that make students cry, shout and shake when spoken about. Topics that range from abortion to graphic violence and childhood trauma. Simply mentioning one of these topics can make someone who is recuperating from these effects, experience a relapse of emotion.
The allure of the college setting is how much of an open forum there is in classroom conversations. Despite the institution’s proclamation that the classroom is to remain non-partisan, if a controversially taboo topic comes up, one particular student might not be ready to revisit memory lane and want to be excused from the classroom. In fact, this is their prerogative. If colleges and schools are too lenient with open or freedom of expression without regard for their students, instead of there being peace, friction and tension can fester. Safe spaces are a necessary resource to those who fear getting ridiculed or singled out. These spaces are an academic support that substitutes as an on campus family.
Safe spaces have that inviting aura about them. The cornucopia of faces are an indication of how progressive academic learning situations have ballooned.
Safe spaces, unlike the classroom, have restrictions on what can or cannot be said, which can in turn gradually increase the sensitivity and understanding amongst students and their peers. Some literature taught in colleges and schools have xenophobic, misogynistic or hedonistic undertones to them. Certain students could possibly take issue with such content. Aren’t they entitled to an education with respect to their chosen ways?
These students shouldn’t be ordered to suck it up and endure topics that invoke debates, they should be treated with dignity. Students are consumers that are free to remove themselves from the vicinity if they feel that what is being taught doesn’t comply with their code of ethics.
The right of free speech can often be taken out of context due to ignorance in a group of strongly opinionated students, which should be motivation to ease tension within the classroom.
The privilege of education guarantees protection in schools and colleges but there is a chance of that protection getting reneged. Safe spaces are the sanctuary that deliver on that promise. The beauty of conglomeration is the result of tolerance. This is why understanding can move mountains!
I believe the solution to the debate on safe spaces is to let them have their chance in these institutions and to watch the magic happen. Safe spaces are the equivalent to ensured emotional and mental security and that is something that deserves much support.