Less than four months after University of Missouri professor Melissa Click became an international spectacle by calling for some “muscle” to have a student journalist removed from where he had every right to be, she was fired today by the university’s curators.
But not necessarily for the way she tried to infringe on the student’s First Amendment right to record, but for another video that surfaced recently showing her cursing at a police officer during an earlier protest.
And, more significantly, because the state legislature moved to eliminate $8 million from the university’s budget, which specifically included Click’s salary – as well as $7.6 million from the university’s administrative budget.
In the end, the loss of money carried more weight than the loss of credibility.
All we can say is good riddance.
While Click should have every right to engage in First Amendment related activities like protests, she should not have the right to use her authority to infringe on other students’ First Amendment rights to cover these events.
Especially not at a university that boasts of having the top journalism program in the nation.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune:
“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,” Henrickson said in the 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.”
The statement from Henrickson cited Click’s behavior at the Homecoming parade, when she cursed at a police officer who was moving protesters out of the street, and on Nov. 9 at Concerned Student 1950’s protest site on the Carnahan Quadrangle. Her actions at the protest site, Henrickson said, “when she interfered with members of the media and students who were exercising their rights in a public space and called for intimidation against one of our students, we believe demands serious action.”
The investigators hired by the curators reviewed videos, documents and conducted more than 20 interviews, Henrickson said.
Click has the right to appeal the decision, so let’s see if she takes that route.
Click was also charged with a misdemeanor for her assault on student journalist Mark Shierbecker. She was sentenced to a year probation and 20 hours of community service.
UPDATE: Click also claimed she assaulted Schierbecker because she was in fear for her life, thinking he had a gun.