An American university has sacked a business studies academic after she allegedly duped hundreds of students into paying unwarranted ‘fees’ to help her buy a large vehicle, fund abortions and push her political agenda.
University of Michigan (MSU) professor, Amy Wisner, required around 600 students to pay A$150 each to purchase membership of her political organisation called The Rebellion Community. Her course was mandatory for students taking a business degree.
Professor Wisner claimed the fees would pay for the use of an online platform, guest speakers, educators, and facilitators and she would not receive any of the money.
However, a lawsuit taken out against Professor Wisner and university officials by two Christian students notes that she personally used all the funds – nearly A$90,000 for each year she taught the course – to engage in political speech and donate membership fees to America’s biggest abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
An online portal was already provided by the university and guest speakers and other course supporters were paid from other sources, if required. The professor has been labelled a ‘scam artist’ by students on campus.
The complaint alleged the academic’s own social media pages confirmed that: “100% of membership fees are donated to Planned Parenthood” and that The Rebellion Community supported other entities “dismantling oppressive systems.”
The lawsuit also claimed the professor used funds generated by the ‘fees’ to purchase an RV to “engage in policy advocacy” while on a road trip.
The plaintiffs Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski are suing Ms. Wisner for forcing them to pay money to advance political messages that conflicted with their deeply held religious beliefs.
“Defendant Wisner controlled The Rebellion Community and used the membership fees to finance her own political advocacy and to support external groups — including Planned Parenthood — that engage in political speech that is antithetical to the plaintiffs’ deeply held beliefs,” the lawsuit claims.
“The plaintiffs were aghast to learn that the ‘fees’ they were compelled to pay as membership fees would be donated to Planned Parenthood [and] that Defendant Wisner has forced them to materially support the homicide of innocent children.”
The students are requesting a court injunction against Professor Wisner to block any further collection of membership fees and request MSU to update university policies on professors requiring students to purchase course material as a condition of enrolment. They’re also seeking monetary damages and attorney fees from the academic and MSU officials
“University professors can’t force students to finance and support political advocacy groups that express messages they disagree with,” said Logan Spena, Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) which is representing the students.
“Michigan State officials have violated the First Amendment and federal civil rights laws by authorising professors to force students to support speech, antithetical to their deepest values and faith,” he added.
Despite the university refunding all students, the two Christian students want to ensure that Professor Wisner personally repays the fees because they don’t want their money supporting abortions. They also want a full accounting of how she spent the students’ money.
CBN News quotes Nathan Barber as saying: “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 organisation.”
“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, and if nobody else did, what stops this from happening again and again,” he added.