Following in the footsteps of Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist-turned respected academic thinker, former Weather Underground radical Kathy Boudin — who spent 22 years in prison for her involvement in an armored car robbery that left two cops and a Brinks guard dead — currently holds a prestigious adjunct professorship at Columbia University, the New York Post reports.
In addition to her new professorship at Columbia’s School of Social Work, Boudin, 69, also earned another academic achievement this year, being named the Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence at NYU Law School. She reportedly gave a lecture on “the politics of parole and re-entry” at the university last month.
As the New York Post reports in a story headlined “Outrage 101: Radical jailed in slay now Columbia prof,” Boudin was paroled in 2003 after acting as the getaway driver in the deadly $1.6 million heist. Less than 10 years later she found herself mingling among the nation’s academic elite at Columbia University.
“Boudin’s status of perp-turned-prof outraged the widow of one of her victims, Brinks guard and dad of three Peter Paige, who was gunned down by her accomplices from the Black Liberation Army on Oct. 20, 1981, in Rockland County,” the New York Post reports.
“She doesn’t deserve a job at all,” Josephine Paige, 74, told the Post. “She doesn’t deserve anything, nothing at all. I think she should be back in an institution.”
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John Hanchar, the nephew of another victim of the robbery, Nyack Police Officer Edward O’Grady, said that while Boudin “has a right to do whatever she wants . . . I just hope the people that she’s lecturing are smart enough to question why [she felt] like killing people is an acceptable choice to forward their goals.”
“It’s easy to forget that violence is never the answer. Nine children grew up without their dads because of her actions,” said Hanchar, whose uncle O’Grady was shot with automatic weapons
Boudin did not respond to a request for comment.
One Friday, a criminal-justice conference at the school will feature keynote address by Angela Davis, another infamous radical, and later this month Boudin is scheduled to speak at Columbia Law School’s conference on child and family advocacy.
Boudin reportedly teaches students about the issues facing convicts and their families when a criminal is released from prison — a topic she is well versed in.
Marianne Yoshioka, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of professional practice in social work at Columbia University, told the NY Post that only three student have expressed concerns with Boudin’s criminal history and just one student switched classes because of her radical past. Boudin was reportedly hired by Yoshioka in 2008.
Yoshioka said Boudin has been “an excellent teacher who gets incredible evaluations from her students each year.”
Robert Van Cura, Rockland County’s undersheriff, said he was glad that Boudin was trying to do something positive with her life following her sketchy history, however, he added that “I believe there’s probably other people that are available to provide education beyond someone who is on parole for murder.”
“Boudin’s bounce-back into respectability after her 2003 parole comes to light a week before the release of Robert Redford’s movie ‘The Company You Keep,’ loosely based on the $1.6 million heist,” the Post notes.
Bill Ayers was recently named the 2013 College of Education and Human Services “visiting scholar” by Minnesota State University. He also speaks at various schools across the country.