ARIZONA NEWS

ASU president calls out ‘bullying’ of queer professor by Turning Point USA members

Oct 15, 2023, 4:00 PM

Arizona State University is investigating after a queer professor, David Boyles, was allegedly assa...

Arizona State University is investigating after a queer professor, David Boyles, was allegedly assaulted by members of a right wing group on campus earlier this week. (X Screenshot/Turning Point USA)

(X Screenshot/Turning Point USA)

PHOENIX —  Following an incident involving an Arizona State University professor and members of Turning Point USA, ASU President Michael Crow issued his views on the altercation.

“Let me assure all of you that ASU will do all that we can to end the bullying and intimidation of our faculty members by Turning Point USA and to reduce threats against the members of the ASU community which arise from such actions,” Crow said in a statement.

Last week, English professor David Boyles, who is queer, was allegedly assaulted by members of the right-wing group at a parking structure on ASU’s Tempe campus. Turning Point members approached Boyles on campus and attempted to ask him questions about sex education. Boyles teaches writing and English literature including a class that draws from LGBTQ+ literature.

A cameraman with the members followed Boyles to the parking structure while continuing to question him.

Security camera footage released by ASU Police shows Boyles attempting to move away from the camera before being shoved in the back to the ground by one of the members.

ASU is investigating the interaction as a “potential bias or prejudicial motivated incident.”

Condemning Turning Point USA’s actions

Crow expressed that it was astounding to him that Turning Point USA members would wait for the professor to come out of his class to follow, harass and ultimately shove him to the ground bloodying his face.

“Cowards that they are and so confident in the legality and appropriateness of their actions, the Turning Point USA “reporter” and “cameraman” then ran away from the scene before police arrived,” he said. “This is the kind of outrageous conduct that you would expect to see from bullies in a high school cafeteria.”

The president also noted he wrote to the organization earlier this year to remove ASU professors from its Professor Watchlist.

“As my April 2023 letter to Turning Point USA indicated, the Professor Watchlist has resulted in antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynistic attacks on ASU faculty with whom Turning Point USA and its followers disagree. Such tactics are anti-democratic, anti-free speech and completely contrary to the spirit of university scholarship, teaching and community,” Crow said.

Crow touched on TPUSA’s history in being featured in and hosting public events at ASU which the university has supported. However, he pointed out the organization uses intimidation, embarrassment and bullying to prevent others from speaking in ways with which it disagrees.

“This is the Turning Point USA version of its support of ‘freedom.’ Let me assure all of you that ASU will do all that we can to end the bullying and intimidation of our faculty members by Turning Point USA and to reduce threats against the members of the ASU community which arise from such actions,” he said.

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ASU president calls out ‘bullying’ of queer professor by Turning Point USA members