Via WTMJ Radio: A University of Wisconsin professor is caught on audio tape telling students about petitions they can sign to recall State Senator Randy Hopper and Governor Scott Walker, both republicans.
WTMJ reports that “A recording released by the Republican Party of Wisconsin exposes Professor Stephen Richards using class time to actively campaign for the recall of State Senator Randy Hopper, encouraging his students to sign recall petitions offered by circulators present “outside” his classroom.
“In the tape, recorded during a criminal justice class,Richards can be heard encouraging a female student to sign the recall petition even though she thinks she lives outside the district, and instructing students to sign using their campus address instead of their parents’ home address. He also tells students to look for petition circulators all around campus and “in the bars.”
“This incredible misuse of power by a person in a position of authority cannot be tolerated,” said Mark Jefferson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Professor Richards used valuable class time to actively campaign to his students, over whom he has influence. The incident goes way past poor judgment – this is egregious professional misconduct.”
Professor Stephen Richards can be heard saying the following to his class (I removed all the “ums):
“And the reason you see this on campus a lot is that, the effect of the, of Walker’s budget on this university is number one, will be an eight percent pay cut for all faculty and staff, eight percent pay cut. There’ll be, there’ll be a legal [inaudible] to be, belong to a union. And you should know that, all the faculty, janitors, maintenance people secretaries, they all belong to a union, they’re all in a union right now. So there union will be decertified.
That and this affects teachers, professors, parole officers, corrections officers, and a lot of police and fire. Police and fire are not exempt from this.
All public employees. So the uh, big salary cuts, uh is eight to ten percent of their wages are cut, not just one year but from here on out, and, they’ll make it so that we won’t be able to belong to unions. Which once that’s done then all the wages will get lower and lower.”
“Either he’s purposely lying to students in an effort to provoke them to sign the petitions, or he is woefully misinformed and spreading severe inaccuracies along to students who rely on him for factual information,” says Jefferson. “Teachers and college professors have a responsibility to their students and to their communities. We trust them to deliver facts and stay above the political fray – at the very least when they are at the head of a classroom. This Professor has seriously failed his students. One has to wonder if this is an isolated incident or a more common occurrence in our state’s classrooms.”
I’m going to say that the Professor is woefully misinformed and more concerned about his pay cut than he is in educating the children.