In a 4-2 decision, the University of Missouri Board of Curators has voted to terminate Melissa Click’s employment with the institution.
Last November Click, now a former Assistant Professor of Communications, made national headlines when she demanded “muscle” to forcibly remove student reporters covering racial protests at Mizzou. Click escalated her behavior when the student journalists reminded her they were on public property. The video of the confrontation went viral. It took awhile for things to She would later be charged with misdemeanor assault and last month was suspended with pay.
A subsequent video of an earlier protest showed Click cursing a police officer after authorities tried to clear the road during the university’s homecoming parade came to light earlier this month. I strongly suspect that if this additional video hadn’t come to light, Mizzou would have continued to drag its feet.
The board explained its decision in this statement which read in part:
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. 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.
While this matter may have been rectified, Click is a symptom of a much bigger problem. The problem isn’t so much that the professors hold left-wing views, but rather that those views cannot be challenged much less aired out by members of the student body without intimidation, marginalization and ostracism. Many of Click’s colleagues don’t think she did anything wrong and if they were in her position would probably have behaved in the same manner. Ditto with the student body. The bulk of the Click video centers around student protesters impeding those trying to cover the event. These students chanted, “Hey, hey!!! Ho, ho!!! Reporters have got to go!!!” The First Amendment is a foreign concept to many American university professors and their students
Even in this day and age where we record almost everything, it isn’t often that the public sees the excesses. In time, the Melissa Click incident will recede from public memory while many more like it happen on college and university campuses on a day to day basis with little recourse for students who hold minority points of view or who dare try to shed light on these happenings. The best we can do is be vigilant, expose their intolerance and not accept their rules.