Faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism want to strip the courtesy appointment from that wild professor who threatened a student filming protests yesterday.
Melissa Click, an assistant professor within Mizzou’s communications department, was caught on video threatening a student with mob violence for refusing to stop filming an encampment of Concerned Student 1950 protestors. Faculty are deciding today if they will strip her of her title at the journalism school, which is a separate entity, due to her attempts to prohibit a student from covering the campus protests.
“You need to get out, you need to get out,” Click shrieked at a student in the video while trying to rip the camera out of his hands yesterday.
“I actually don’t,” the student said. Click responded by yelling to an encampment of protestors: “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!”
The video has since gone viral and has shifted the coverage of the situation at Mizzou. Many have decried her attempts to thwart a freelance photographer from covering the protests as squelching his First Amendment rights, including faculty at the journalism school, where Click holds a courtesy title that allows her to weigh in on the school’s graduate committee.
The Columbian Missourian is reporting that the vote is currently “close.” Esther Thorson, the associate dean for graduate studies at the journalism school, said that there are “strong voices concerned about fairness (to Click).”
In an email, Michael O’Brien, dean of the College of Arts & Science at Mizzou, said: “I in no way condone what Dr. Click did, but I hope that we can chalk this up to inflamed passion and inexperience,” The Columbian Missourian reported.
Tom Warhover, professor at the School of Journalism, said he was upset about Click’s actions.
“I was pretty mad about it,” he said.
Warhover added that stripping Click of her courtesy title at the journalism school would probably be a “reasonable response.”
While no update on her status of employment has been released, the police department has reported that Click received several threats to her safety and they are planning to increase police presence on campus.