Dear University of Bristol,
Please can you tell me if trigger warnings for graphic/potentially upsetting content are giving to students on English literature courses before lectures/exams?
If so, can you tell me the wordings of the warnings and to which books/plays etc they are attached?
Eg: Titus Andronicus contains references to rape.
Thank you for your e-mail. The University will endeavour to respond to
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Dear M Spaven
Freedom of Information Request (our reference FOI20-46)
We refer to your Freedom of Information request dated 21 January. You
requested the following information:
“Please can you tell me if trigger warnings for graphic/potentially
upsetting content are giving to students on English literature courses
If so, can you tell me the wordings of the warnings and to which
books/plays etc they are attached?”
Further to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”) we
confirm that the information requested is not held by the University of
Bristol (the “University”).
We do not prescribe the use of content notes in the English department,
however, some staff do find them an important pedagogical tool and chose
to include them in their teaching. We also recognise that some students
would find content notes or warnings necessary to manage their wellbeing,
and we work carefully with our senior tutors to make sure their needs are
respected. We encourage all staff to be mindful of the student experience
when teaching difficult or potentially distressing subject matter, and we
have robust systems in place to support staff and students with wellbeing
and mental health.
It is possible that tutors provide such warnings verbally during seminars
but the work involved establishing whether this information is recorded,
then locating and retrieving it would likely exceed the appropriate limit
(£450, equivalent to 18 hours) set out in section 12 of the Act and in the
Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.
Internal Review Procedure
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, then you have a
right under Section 50 of the Act to request an internal review. All such
requests must be sent to us within 40 days, and must clearly state our
reference number (at the top of this email) and your reason for requesting
an internal review. We will aim to respond to your request for an
internal review within 20 working days of receipt.
Your request for an internal review should be sent to
[University of Bristol request email], quoting your FOI reference number.
Alternatively, you could post it to:
Director of Legal Services
University of Bristol
Information Commissioners Office
Should you remain dissatisfied with the final outcome of the internal
review then you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (the
“ICO”) for an independent review. The ICO is the Government’s Independent
Body responsible for overseeing the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the
Data Protection Act 2018 and The Environmental Information Regulations
Please note the ICO will only review cases that have exhausted the
University’s internal review procedure. All correspondence to the ICO must
quote the University’s reference number and your reasons for your appeal.
The ICO’s contact details are as follows:
The Information Commissioners Office
More information can be found at the ICO’s website
Freedom of Information Team
University of Bristol
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