"This is absurd," Ayers, 64, told a mostly young audience in a speech at Riverside-Brookfield High School. "It's a waste of time."
The Weather Underground bombed government buildings in protest of the Vietnam War. In a 2001 book, Ayers said he participated in the bombings but never hurt anyone. Charges were filed against him but were dropped in 1973.
Ayers, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, compared the proposal by state Sen. Larry Bomke of Springfield to a conservative TV network's hatchet job.
"It's working off of a Fox News paradigm," he said.
Before a crowd of about 175 made up mostly of high school students, Ayers defended his controversial past as a 1960s radical. He said it would have been wrong not to take a stance against the Vietnam War . . .
Jan Goldberg, a social studies teacher at Riverside-Brookfield, said the school's Forum Club invited Ayers to speak because students were interested in learning more about his role in the presidential race.
"That's my job to get them [students] to think critically," she said. "And I think they were engaged."
How the world has changed. A man who bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon would have never been invited to speak at the Illinois high school which I attended. The idea that this guy is a tenured professor at the University of Illinois is illustrative of the sad state of American academia. Universities will employ any wacko on the Left that walks through the door while slamming the door to anyone who as much as utters the word "conservative."