As Twitchy reported yesterday, University of Missouri assistant professor of mass media Melissa Click chose to get physical with a student reporter who rightfully refused to stop filming protests inside the designated “media safe space” — a public area which students have today graciously reopened to the media as part of a “teachable moment.”

When the reporter refused to leave, Click — who holds a graduate certificate in advanced feminist studies — was captured on video running off in search of “muscle” to help remove the offending journalist.

Having nationally embarrassed a school known for its journalism program, Click might find herself in search of some legal muscle, as the Mizzou journalism faculty has already voteed to remove her courtesy title. It’s not the harshest of punishments, but this is only the first disciplinary action to take place.

The Missourian reports:

The journalism school’s executive committee, including Dean David Kurpius, met Tuesday morning to discuss the vote and prepare a statement on Click’s actions Monday as seen in footage of a confrontation between freelance photographer Tim Tai and protesters near the Concerned Student 1950 camp on the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle.

Click was seen at the end of the video asking for assistance and for “muscle” to remove Mark Schierbecker, who filmed the interaction and uploaded his footage to YouTube.

Kurpius and Esther Thorson, the journalism school’s associate dean for graduate studies, characterized Click’s actions as a clear violation of First Amendment rights. Kurpius said taking actions that might escalate a peaceful protest was “unwarranted.”

The vote was close, reports the Missourian.

The university is certainly not going to like this development.

The National Press Club was not impressed with the Mizzou faculty’s defense of a free press, and said in a statement:

“Mr. Tai was correct when he told the protesters that he has a First Amendment right to photograph in a public space, just as the activists have a First Amendment right to protest there,” said John Hughes, president of the National Press Club. “The National Press Club calls upon the University of Missouri to make clear to its students and staff that reporters should not be kept from doing their jobs — and certainly not through physical force or threats. In the home of one of the world’s great journalism schools, such behavior cannot be tolerated.”

Will it be tolerated? Some media outlets have jumped the gun with what seems like a reasonable assumption.

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