Amy Wisner, a former Michigan State University professor of marketing, has been sued by former students alleging she forced them to fund her political activism.
Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski, attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), allege that Wisner forced her 600 students to pay $99 for a membership to “The Rebellion community” as a requirement in her class.
According to the lawsuit, filed on May 18, Wisner “personally controlled The Rebellion Community,” and she was using the money made through the site to engage in political speech and fund political advocacy organizations that the students disagreed with. In one Facebook post, Wisner said that “100% of membership fees are donated to Planned Parenthood,” while the plaintiffs are pro-life.
Another post said, “The Rebellion community is a safe place to coordinate our efforts to burn everything to the F**king ground.”
Nathan Barbieri told Fox News Digital, "My money is in the hands of Planned Parenthood," and he is “very upset” about it. He continued, "I funded that. And until that money is brought back, until it is out of [the professor's] hands, it's still with Planned Parenthood, or it's still being going towards an unethical organization.”
“For me, as a Christian, it's our calling. We're supposed to expose the bad things that happen and not just sit back and… be abused. That's our job," Barbieri said. "I hold true to my Christian beliefs… [My faith] really pushed me to get out there and do something about it, because I knew if I didn't, you know, and if nobody else did, what stops this from happening again and again."
“You shouldn't be taking money for political activism from your students, especially forcefully because you can't pass the class without this, But definitely finding out, seeing Planned Parenthood and organizations like that are completely against my religious and my political beliefs really struck me," He concluded.
The university told Fox News that Wisner is no longer employed at the school.
Radomski, co-plaintiff in the case, said, "I shouldn’t have to pay for my professor’s political activism.” He continued “This is a matter of free speech and I hope that the university changes its policy so that other students never have to pay expensive fees toward causes they don’t believe in."
Their lawyer with the ADF claimed that Wisner abused her power as an instructor. "What Professor Wisner did here was completely out of the ordinary. She basically fabricated a requirement, put it on the syllabus to join this website, which had nothing to do with the course, and she could have used the free platform that the university provides,” they said. “And then to do that solely so she could fund her own political activism. And so not only did she use this as her own ideological mechanism to force the students to listen to her activism, but then she forced them to fund her outside activism and kind of double down on that. And I think that's a problem. And public universities just can't allow that to happen."
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of Michigan State University Thomas Jeitschko and for Academic Affairs of Michigan State University Judith Whipple are also listed in the lawsuit.
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