Really super-thoughtful and interesting.
I wouldn’t expect the world to give me grasshopper trigger warnings. How could I? But if something like 1 in 5 or 1 in 3 students also had a grasshopper phobia, it would be a whole lot more reasonable to expect others to know this and take it into account. It takes work to build a classroom—or a society—where everyone can participate meaningfully. Part of that work is taking into account your students’ life experiences, to the extent that you can know what they are. Whenever I meet someone new and expect that we might be in a situation together where we’ll encounter a grasshopper, I give them a sort of reverse trigger warning. I tell them that I have this phobia, and that I might suddenly start acting weird, running away or suddenly stopping in my tracks. I try to prepare them for my own erratic behavior. We can’t expect this of trauma survivors, but we can work on the assumption that any college classroom contains a few of them. Providing basic trigger warnings about sexual assault, given that knowledge, is the minimally decent thing to do in creating an environment where everyone can succeed.