The Slatest

Missouri Professor Who Called for “Muscle” Against Journalist Fired for Role in Protests

The Univ. of Missouri professor, Melissa Click, who was caught on video verbally and physically intimidating a student journalist during a demonstration on campus, has been fired, the university announced Thursday. Click was suspended with pay a month ago and has largely been silent—other than an apology—about her role in November protests over incidents of racism at Mizzou and the university’s handling of them.

Click, a communications professor, was hit with a third-degree assault charge for calling for some “muscle” and grabbing a photographer’s camera while attempting to block journalists from the protesters on the quad, but agreed to 20 hours of community service. In the aftermath of the Nov. incident, another confrontation with police surfaced where Click was filmed shouting expletives at police while involved with a student protest trying to block the homecoming parade.

Calls for Click’s removal came from a number of different corners, but were taken up with gusto by conservative lawmakers in the state (and beyond) Last week, Click broke her silence and spoke to the New York Times:

“When I watch it, I am embarrassed and sorry,” she said in a telephone interview. “I see someone dealing with a high-stress situation who gets flustered. I see a moment where I feel like I’m not representing my best self, and I see somebody who’s trying to do her best to help marginalized students. “I try to remember that’s only one moment of a full day, and only one moment in a 12-year career,” she said.

It wasn’t enough, however, and the Mizzou board voted 4-2 in favor of her removal. “The board respects Dr. Click’s right to express her views and does not base this decision on her support for students engaged in protest or their views,” University of Missouri Board of Curators, Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a prepared statement. “However, Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student.”