COLUMBIA, MO - As heavy rain heads toward Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou college students fear a storm of another kind continues to brew--a storm of racial tension intensifying the cloud of unrest throughout campus.
A Mizzou student has been arrested for making online threats against black students and faculty. Nineteen-year-old Hunter Park allegedly posted: "Shoot every black person I see."
And then there's the furor over a professor fighting for...a temporary media blackout.
Professor Melissa Click screamed at a student photographer, "You need to get out. Hey who wants to help me get rid of this reporter?"
The communications professor was harassing a student journalist and ordering him to leave a public area during protests this week. "I need some muscle over here!"
Both student protesters and journalists were exercising their first amendment rights stemming from they way the university has handled (or mishandled) recent racial incidents.
"We understand they had a voice there. And that`s an important part of it," says David Kurpius, Dean of the Communications School. "There`s a tension point there that is important to understand and for journalists to understand."
Click apologized for her actions and kept her job in the department, but she resigned from a graduate committee.
Here`s a quick tally of the fall-out at Mizzou: One university president resigned. One chancellor stepped down. One professor abandoned a committee post. One hunger strike is over. One report of a faculty walkout. Thirty football players refuse to play. And one arrest for multiple online threats.
One can't help but believe it will be one long time before calm is restored after this storm.