Nation’s future in danger as law students Use Bubbles and Play Dough, Now Nap Pads and Yoga Mats
A dramatic indication of the growing coddling of law students was provided when University of Michigan Law School helped students cope with the “trauma” of Donald Trump’s election by providing an “embedded psychologist” in a room full of bubbles and play dough.
Now, even though the election is long over, UC Hastings Law School felt the need to provide a “Chill Zone” in its library where delicate students can “relax, meditate, do yoga, [and] take a quick nap to reenergize.” To help them cope with stress, the room is filled with nap pads, bean bag chairs, and yoga mats.
This coddling of supposedly mature adults in professional graduate schools, in a manner perhaps better suited to kindergarten toddlers – rather than trying to counteract the protectionist climate increasing found at undergraduate institutions – is just further evidence that law schools are helping to raise a generation of wuss lawyers, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
Taught that they have a right to be free from anything possibly upsetting such as trigger words, controversial campus speakers, so-called “hate speech,” or anything else that might make them uncomfortable, they are increasingly unable to stand up to judges for their clients, argues Banzhaf.
Law professors further encourage this by agreeing to demands not to teach rape or other topics the students might find “disturbing,” cancelling classes and exams when upsetting events occur, etc.
The many consequences for society could be very serious, says Banzhaf.
This “perverse and unintended side effect of the intense public attention given to sexual violence in recent years” is a “tremendous loss – above all to victims of sexual assault,” says Harvard Law Professor Jeannie Suk. She says law students complain even about the classroom use of the word “violate” as in “does this violate the law?”
Law students who complain they are too traumatized to study – or, in another manifestation, to even take exams because of disturbing news – have no idea of what real trauma is, said Banzhaf, who notes that judges have threatened him with arrest as well as huge fines – “that’s real trauma,” he argues.
“Trauma” is what happens when your client is sentenced to death, or a widow who should have recovered for his husband’s death at the hands of a drug or auto company is condemned to a life of poverty – not when sitting in the sterile setting of a classroom you hear words like “rape,” “violated,” etc.
If law professors cannot teach controversial topics like rape, affirmative action, police shootings, etc. because students find it disturbing, they logically will cease studying them, and society will be denied a major source of information, policy analysis, and ideas from independent experts, says Banzhaf.
“If the law – and the related facts, arguments, etc. – cannot be taught or otherwise even discussed in the one place in society where freedom of speech and debate are supposed to be bedrock principles, how likely is it that the problems can be addressed in a meaningful way?” Banzhaf argues.