A Michigan State University professor is being sued for forcing her students to purchase a $99 subscription to her personal political organization called “The Rebellion Community,” which funds Planned Parenthood and other left-leaning causes.
In February, it was revealed that a professor in MSU’s Broad College of Business, Amy Wisner, was requiring her students to purchase a $99 subscription to an organization called “The Rebellion Community,” which was revealed to be owned by Wisner although she allegedly made it seem as though she was unaffiliated with the group.
Each semester, Wisner would mandate that everyone, in a class of 600 students, pay the membership fee to her organization. She then allegedly used the money to fund left-wing political causes including Planned Parenthood without informing the students how their funds would be used.
A lawsuit filed on Thursday is alleging that Wisner used the membership fees to fund her personal political activism and support left-wing groups like Planned Parenthood.
Students were initially told that the membership fees would be used to “pay for the use of technology and pay guest speakers, educators, and facilitators.” They were also told that Wisner “does not receive any financial compensation from [their] membership fees as that would be a conflict of interest.”
However, the evidence paints a different story.
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In one Facebook post, Wisner claimed that 100% of the membership fees go to Planned Parenthood. On her website, she claims that “100% of membership fees are used for awareness, education, and activism for a BULLY-FREE FUTURE.”
During one of her classes, she allegedly told her students that the revenue is used to bring guest speakers into her class.
In August 2022, Wisner set up a ‘GoFundMe’ campaign to raise money for “an RV roadtrip [sic] around the United States to create communities of rebels committed to doing the work” and “igniting action at the local level.” According to the lawsuit, this campaign included various levels of donation, including a tier that provided “one year of access to The Rebellion Community.”
Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom are representing Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski, both former students of Wisner’s, who claim that their First Amendment rights were violated because their money was used by Wisner to engage in political speech that is “antithetical to [their] deeply held beliefs.”
“Plaintiffs were originally frustrated by having to pay the $99 membership fee because joining the group seemed unnecessary and duplicative,” the lawsuit read. “Plaintiffs soon learned that Defendant Wisner personally controlled The Rebellion Community, The Rebellion Community Website, and all of its associated sites and resources.”
“Plaintiffs also learned that Defendant Wisner was using the substantial funds she was extracting from each course (nearly $60,000 each time she taught the class) to engage in political speech Plaintiffs disagreed with and donating the funds to other organizations that also engage in political advocacy Plaintiffs disagree with.”
Barbieri and Radomski, the students suing Wisner, are both Christians who “oppose the practice of abortion” and were “aghast to learn that the fees they were compelled to pay as membership fees would be donated to Planned Parenthood,” according to the complaint.
The lawsuit states that “when the government goes from restricting the chosen speech or association of its citizens to compelling them to speak its message or associate with its preferred confederates, ‘additional damage is done’ because ‘[f]forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning.”
According to student reviews on the website “Rate My Professors,” Wisner’s class is a “complete joke” and she doesn’t seem to have a clue about what she’s teaching.
One student wrote in 2022 that Wisner “speaks down on students often,” while others questioned whether she has any knowledge related to what she’s supposed to be teaching.
Instead of teaching the subject, it seems that she pushes her political ideologies, not allowing anyone to express a different viewpoint.
Another of her former students wrote, “You grade yourself, but don’t learn anything useful in the lectures. Preaches being ‘open-minded,’ yet brings on the same exact guest speaker every lecture that shares their viewpoints. Can’t question her, or she’ll respond basically saying ‘I’m right and you’re wrong.'”