(from The Washington Post):

By Zena Hitz

Last week my students and I found ourselves discussing the laws concerning rape in the book of Deuteronomy.  With debates about safe spaces and trigger warnings all over the media, my spine stiffened when the topic came up.  Would my students noisily and cluelessly unsettle a person with a traumatic past?  Would students whose anger had been inflamed by campus activists shut down discussion entirely?

My worries dissipated as I watched my students struggle, openly and passionately, with questions about the limits of authority and the nature of punishment.

They found laws in the text that outraged their sensibilities, yet challenged each other to find something admirable in them.  They spoke as individuals but did not divide into factions.

Noisy majorities that drown out the marginalized are as great a danger to free inquiry as the fore-ordained conclusions of what is called “political correctness.”

So how can we make free inquiry — that is to say, real conversation — more common in the classroom? CONTINUE READING HERE