What bias? Campus free speech controversies spark very different reactions from two governors
- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is weighing in on conservative commentator Michael Knowles' assault at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
- Parson called the behavior "unacceptable" but didn't mention any possible action that could impact the school's funding.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott questioned whether Texas State University should continue to receive funding after that school's student government attempted to ban the conservative group Turning Point USA from campus.
After conservative commentator Michael Knowles was assaulted at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson weighed in, saying that "this kind of behavior is unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated."
This kind of behavior is unacceptable & shouldn't be tolerated -- toy guns and fake chemicals or not, these actions put ppl at risk. All students deserve free speech protections & shouldn't be persecuted for political beliefs. Appreciate local police for defusing the situation. https://t.co/XotTVo9R5u— Mike Parson (@mikeparson) April 12, 2019
Parson's response to the UMKC controversy was not nearly as sharp as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's reaction to the Texas State University student government attempting to ban conservative group Turning Point USA from campus.
"I truly question if taxpayers should still fund schools like this. There’s no place in Texas for this. Our state universities better clean up their act," Abbott said in response to that incident.
The incidents at both UMKC and Texas State University come just weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at pulling federal research funding from universities that do not protect the First Amendment. UMKC received $11,296,000 in federal research dollars in 2017 and Texas State University received $25,132,000 in federal research dollars that same year.
In light of Abbott's comments questioning whether Texas State should continue to receive funding, as well as Trump's executive order threatening to pull potentially billions of dollars in federal research funding to various colleges and universities across the country, Campus Reform asked Parson's office whether the governor is considering any action related to UMKC's funding, especially in light of the UMKC chancellor's response to the incident, which many conservatives, including Knowles, criticized.
No response from the governor's office was received in time for publication.