Press Release

Union Leaders Condemn Attack on ASU Professor

For Release:


Kelly Benjamin
Alexis Lopez

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and American Association of University Professors President Irene Mulvey issued the following statement after Turning Point USA operatives assaulted Arizona State University professor David Boyles:

“Last week’s physical assault by Turning Point USA operatives on Arizona State University professor David Boyles, who teaches LGBTQ+ pop culture and politics and is a co-founder of Drag Story Hour Arizona, is a new low in the ongoing attack against higher education. We commend ASU President Michael Crow and Board of Regents Chair Fred DuVal on their strong condemnations of this attack. The harassment of faculty members by extremist groups like Turning Point USA is designed to silence individuals and stifle academic freedom and freedom of expression on campus.

“As leaders of institutions of higher learning, college and university presidents and governing boards must call out extremist and violent tactics for what they are—attempts to intimidate faculty, students and other members of the campus community—and they must defend higher education as essential to the functioning of our democracy. Institutions of higher education must ensure that they have resources and policies in place to protect faculty members who have been targeted by extremist groups from in-person harassment and assault. And as a society we must recognize these attacks are part of a larger attack on the foundations of our democracy. We must speak out against such attacks and demand that our campus leaders and elected officials do the same.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.