EXCLUSIVE – A Christian student, who sued his business professor for forcing her class to fund an entity which fundraised for Planned Parenthood and other progressive political causes, said that his Christian beliefs propelled him to fight back.
“My money is in the hands of Planned Parenthood,” Nathan Barbieri, a Michigan State University College of Business sophomore studying finance, said. He told Fox News Digital in an interview that he was “very upset” about it.
“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,” he said.
Barbieri is one of two students suing his former business marketing professor, Amy Wisner, who identifies as an “intersectional feminist.” The university told Fox News Digital that Wisner is no longer employed at the institution. Her Instagram similarly reflected that she is a “former business communication professor.”
The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group defending religious freedom and First Amendment rights.
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According to the lawsuit, the “far-left” professor compelled each of her 600 students to pay $99 for a membership, which collectively could have amounted to at most $59,400 for an entity called ‘The Rebellion Community.'”
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Wisner said, “The Rebellion community is a safe place to coordinate our efforts to burn everything to the f—ing ground,” according to the lawsuit. A post of Wisner’s Facebook page said, “100% of membership fees are donated to Planned Parenthood.” Other causes it supported included those “dismantling oppressive systems.”
The university said that its business school personally refunded students for their contributions to “The Rebellion Community,” but Barbieri said it wasn’t enough.
“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,” he said.
The lawsuit is seeking to bring about a policy change at the university.
ADF’s senior counsel Tyson Langhofer said, “We’re basically asking for all the money that she received to be given back to the students and then to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Nathan has two more years at the school. He doesn’t want professors to be able to do this. So we’re asking the court to order the university not to allow this to happen in the future.”
“I hold true to my Christian beliefs,” said Barbieri. “[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.”
The second student who sued the professor, echoed Barbieri’s concern. “I shouldn’t have to pay for my professor’s political activism… 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,” Nolan Radomski told Fox News.
Additionally, the “Rebellion Community” is controlled by the professor herself, which raised additional ethical concerns, the lawsuit said.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad actions in my litigation, but this is definitely one of the top ones because she’s got 600 students at her mercy, and she did abuse that power,” the ADF attorney said.
“Not only was it wrong in what she was doing. I mean… 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,” Barbieri said.
ADF counsel explained that “professors can’t force students to fund political organizations as a requirement for an academic course.”
“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, which every other professor uses,” ADF counsel said. “And then to do that solely that 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 that’s a problem. And public universities just can’t allow that to happen.”
Wisner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MSU said, “The university does not comment on pending litigation.”