I respect your take on this, Joyce. I think the only place where we really differ is on what constitutes “softening” a classroom space. I think the classrooms of the past were not accessible enough to a wide swathe of students — students with mental illness and invisible disability chief among them. If making college slightly more possible for those students is softening, I’m all for it. But I don’t believe that offering extra test time to students with learning disabilities and trigger warnings for students with PTSD is making the classroom any softer. If anything, the other students in the class are being challenged to empathize and work with a wider swathe of humanity, which will make them stronger and smarter in all the ways that matter. And the students who need the accommodations will be stronger from having the chance to participate on equal footing.

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