ABC 17 News talked to the student journalist who was confronted by former professor Melissa Click in last fall’s viral video after Click was terminated Thursday.
Mark Schierbecker told ABC 17 News he thought the UM System Board of Curators did the right thing in firing Click, but said he thought there was still a lot of progress to be made on the university’s end.
“The university has a long way to go toward restoring its reputation,” Schierbecker said. “For awhile now, I’ve seen the university take a hostile stance on the First Amendment.”
Earlier this month, new body camera video surfaced online of Click in confrontation with Columbia police officers during the protests at the MU homecoming parade last October.
Schierbecker posted the video online days after Click first appeared on camera defending her actions for the first time since the protests. The student journalist told ABC 17 he posted the video because Click said it was an isolated incident, something he did not agree with.
Schierbecker said he was not rooting for Click to be fired, but said something had to be done before lawmakers took away funding from the university.
“What the university needs right now is to really win back the trust of the lawmakers who are making the funding happen for the university,” Schierbecker said. “And I don’t think it’s just a funding issue. I think they ultimately did what’s right.”
The student journalist said he wanted to bring attention to the larger systematic issue of free speech being attacked on campuses across the country. He said he thought the next thing for MU to do was to educate people on the First Amendment.