Melissa Click, the notorious University of Missouri (MU) professor who attacked a student journalist trying to cover a protest, was suspended Wednesday night by the school’s board of curators.
Click has been the subject of severe criticism ever since Nov. 9 of last year, when a viral video captured her altercation with a student journalist at a demonstration following the resignation of MU president Tim Wolfe. Click ordered the journalist to back away from the protest, attempted to grab his camera and later called for “muscle” to help force the journalist away. Later, Click helped organize a human wall to keep the reporter and other members of the press out.
Click’s behavior was widely denounced as incredibly inappropriate for a college professor, especially because she was a communications professor holding a courtesy position with MU’s journalism school. Calls for her to be fired, criminally charged or otherwise punished have been constant for the past two months.
Now, MU’s leadership has finally heeded those calls. The decision comes two days after Click was hit with a misdemeanor assault charge for her behavior on Nov. 9 of last year. Click has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail. (RELATED: The 9 Most Preposterous Parts Of Melissa Click’s Absurd Résumé)
In a statement reported by the Columbia Daily Tribune, Board Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said Wednesday MU’s general counsel had been ordered to investigate Click’s behavior and decide whether any further sanction was necessary.
The decision to suspend Click was made at a closed four-hour board meeting. Henrickson took no questions from the press, so how exactly the decision was made to suspend Click is unclear. On Monday, interim MU chancellor Hank Foley told the press that Click’s job is safe at least through the end of the tenure review process, which will end by Aug. 1.
Over 100 Missouri lawmakers have signed a petition calling for Click to be fired.
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