Mizzou Professor Melissa Click Gets Death And Rape Threats

The university's journalism school also met Tuesday to decide whether to revoke her appointment after controversial viral videos.

University of Missouri communication professor Melissa Click canceled classes Tuesday, citing death and rape threats against her, according to an email obtained by The Huffington Post.

The threats came after Click was seen in two videos circulating online trying to block a student photographer from getting closer to take photos of activists on campus, and shouting at another reporter that they had to "get out" of a central location on campus where activists were camping. When the reporter said he did not have to leave, she shouted, "Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle."

Click then walked around as onlookers formed a human wall to block the media from entering the area yelling orders for students to continue blocking reporters from getting inside the area.

In a noon email Tuesday to her honors course students, Click said the chair of the communication department suggested that she remain in her office.

"I have been receiving rape and death threats and am concerned for my safety," Click said in the email.

Tim Tai, the photographer seen being blocked by Click and others in the videos, tweeted last night that he learned some of the people he had a confrontation with had started receiving threats. Tai called that "sickening."

Following the videos of Click attempting to interfere with journalists covering protests on campus on Monday, she could also lose a courtesy appointment with the university's journalism school.

The university's esteemed journalism department issued a statement Tuesday clarifying that Click is not a professor in their school -- rather, she is in the Department of Communication at Mizzou. Faculty were meeting Tuesday to determine whether to revoke a "courtesy appointment" with the School of Journalism.

David Kurpius, the dean of the Mizzou School of Journalism, said on Twitter it was likely that Click would lose her courtesy appointment in his department.

Kurpius did not immediately comment on whether the journalism school had made a decision about Click yet.

In a statement Tuesday, Mitchell McKinney, chair of the Department of Communication, applauded student journalists who were trying to cover the protests this week.

"We reiterate our commitment as communication scholars to the transformative power of dialogue; we believe words shape our realities and that engaging multiple perspectives is vital," McKinney said.
"According to the University’s Collected Rules and Regulations (HR 114)," he added "we will not be able to comment on any personnel matters."

Update: This story has been updated to include comment from the University of Missouri Department of Communication.


Tyler Kingkade covers higher education and is based in New York. You can contact him at tyler.kingkade@huffingtonpost.com, or on Twitter: @tylerkingkade.


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