Melissa Click, that University of Missouri assistant professor who confronted at least one journalist trying to document a gathering on campus, resigned after she was caught on video instigating students to stop the man from covering the protests.
Several news organizations identified Melissa Click as an assistant communications professor at the Missouri School of Journalism — one of the most prestigious in the U.S. — and questioned why she was trying to restrict freedom of the press. The activist group Concerned Student 1950 has protested what they say is a racially insensitive environment at the University of Missouri, which led to the resignation of school president Tim Wolfe on Monday.
Following Wolfe’s resignation, those participating in the Mizzou protests gathered to celebrate their victory when Melissa Click was caught on video yelling at a student journalist to “back up” and asking him to leave campus.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the video shows a group of students closing in on journalist Mark Schierbecker and Click leading them and asking for “some muscle here” to push the reporter away.
The University of Missouri assistant professor’s actions earned her intense criticism on social media, and late Tuesday night, the Dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, David Kurpius, announced the Melissa Click resignation on Twitter, according to Fox News.
— Kurp (@Kurp) November 11, 2015
However, Melissa Click resigned only from her assistant journalism post and is still reportedly employed by the Communications School. Many are asking for an investigation into what they call the University of Missouri assistant professor’s “intimidation tactics” seen on the video. In a statement, Click issued and apology for the actions depicted on the video, which has garnered national attention and gone viral with almost two million views on Wednesday morning.
“[I] reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions.
“I regret the language and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behavior, and also for the way my actions have shifted attention away from the students’ campaign for justice.
“From this experience I have learned about humanity and humility. When I apologized to one of the reporters in a phone call this afternoon, he accepted my apology. I believe he is doing a difficult job, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him.”
Before announcing that Melissa Click had resigned, Kurpius harshly criticized the assistant professor while applauding photojournalism senior Tim Tai, who is seen in the video being manhandled by the aggressive group of protesters while saying he is just doing his job.
“The Missouri School of Journalism is proud of photojournalism senior Tim Tai for how he handled himself during a protest on Carnahan Quad on the University of Missouri campus.
“The news media have First Amendment rights to cover public events and Tai handled himself professionally and with poise.”
Tai also took to Twitter to express his surprise at becoming part of the story in the Melissa Click resignation story.
I'm a little perturbed at being part of the story, so maybe let's focus some more reporting on systemic racism in higher ed institutions.
— Tim Tai (@nonorganical) November 10, 2015
Signs such as the one below were placed around the University of Missouri campus by protesters, but they have since been replaced with welcome notes for the media calling the incident this week a “teachable moment.”
Do you think the Melissa Click resignation was necessary after the video shows her trying to stop freedom of the press?
[Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images]