Woke university dons slap trigger warning on 15th century text about St George and the dragon over its ‘descriptions of torture and violence’ as well as ‘discriminatory language’
- Dons slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint
- Students were told the literary text contains descriptions of torture and violence
- The warning was put on The Legend Of St George written by monk John Lydgate
He may have slain a dragon, but Saint George has proved to be no match for the woke warriors of academia.
Dons have slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint, lest the legend prove upsetting and offensive to today’s university students.
Undergraduates have been told: ‘This literary text tells the story of St George and his martyrdom which contains descriptions of and allusions to torture and violence leading to his death.
‘It also contains instances of discriminatory language, particularly with reference to ethnicity and religion.’
Dons slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint. Undergraduates were told that the literary text contains ‘descriptions of and allusions to torture and violence leading to his death’
It is believed that St George was a real Roman soldier and was tortured and executed in AD 303 after refusing to renounce his Christian faith. In the 11th Century, the story of how he killed a dragon to save a princess gained popularity
Exam pupils tripped up by woke question
Critics have expressed concern that the use of ‘gender neutral’ language in exam questions could confuse students and cost them marks.
While the usual format is for questions to refer to ‘a boy’ or ‘a girl’, or use their name, followed by the pronoun ‘he’ or ‘she’, some exam boards are removing gender and replacing it with, for example, ‘a student’ followed by ‘they’.
A GCSE maths question this year from the exam board AQA refers to ‘one of 35 students who is chosen at random’. It then asks: ‘What is the probability that they exercise for at least one hour?’
In online forums, teachers and parents said pupils may have thought ‘they’ refers to the 35 students rather than one.
Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign For Real Education, said: ‘Exam questions need to be unambiguous.’
AQA said ‘they’ had been used because it was grammatically correct, adding: ‘No schools have been in touch to say this question caused confusion.’
Students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are then told: ‘If you have concerns about any of the content… please feel free to discuss with your seminar tutor.’
The warning was slapped on The Legend Of St George, by the 15th Century monk and poet John Lydgate, which forms part of the Medieval Monstrosities module of the English Literature course.
It is believed that St George was a real Roman soldier, born in Turkey, who was tortured and executed in AD 303 after refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
In the 11th Century, the story of how he killed a dragon to save a princess gained popularity.
Critics last night ridiculed the warning. Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: ‘Quite honestly, if students do not know that in medieval times they were quite violent and had very different attitudes towards race, then they are not fit to be at university. The mere fact that it’s a medieval poem should warn them they may not find nice, comfy 21st Century language there.’
Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, said: ‘People are going through our history looking for things to be offended by. It is not about genuine pain or hurt, it is about distancing England from its traditions and its past.’
Students at UEA are also warned that work by Victorian poet Robert Browning, a champion of women’s rights, ‘deal with “toxic masculinity” and implied/explicit misogynistic violence’.
Last night, a UEA spokesman said: ‘We want to prepare students to have a robust debate about a variety of materials. We have various mechanisms in place to encourage these discussions and trigger warnings are just one of these.’