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University of Missouri Professor’s Resignation the Latest in Fallout from Racist Incidents

An assistant communications professor at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism resigned Tuesday after she was recorded attempting to block a student journalist from photographing campus protesters, the latest in the fallout from the rising racial tension at the college.

A video showing protestors and assistant professor Melissa Click was posted Monday on YouTube shortly after University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned amid protests over his perceived lack of response to racism on the campus.

Tim Tai, a 20-year-old senior at the university and freelance reporter for ESPN, was confronted by Click after protesters attempted to stop him from taking photos. She yelled at Tai to leave, calling for “muscle” to help remove him from a public area where students had set up tents.

After the video sparked outrage, Click submitted her resignation to the journalism school’s dean, Fox News reported.

Her resignation came a day after Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin stepped down following growing protests by black students, the threat of a walkout by faculty and a strike by players on the football team.

Wolfe, who became emotional as he announced his resignation, said his motivation to move aside at the end of the year resulted from the love he has for the city of Columbia.

“I thought and prayed over this decision. It is the right thing to do,” Wolfe was quoted as saying at the start of a special meeting of the Board of Curators. “The frustration and anger I see is real, and I don’t doubt it for a second.”

Incidents of racism, over which black student leaders had complained, had become so prevalent on the campus that members of the football team, including about 30 black players, announced they would boycott team activities. In addition to being subjected to incidents such as racial slurs, in August, someone used feces to draw a swastika, drawing condemnation from black and Jewish student organizations.

In a tweet posted over the weekend by Missouri’s Legion of Black Collegians, the black athletes said that injustice anywhere serves as a threat to justice everywhere.

“We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experience,” they said.

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