In Columbia, Missouri, another racially motivated incident at the University of Missouri-Columbia (also known as Mizzou) occurred today just one day after the president and chancellor stepped down from his position following a standstill by the student body. Football players took to Twitter over the weekend stating they were boycotting practice and games if the school president did not step down due to a lack of enforcement against racial slurs as of lately on campus. One student went on a hunger strike for nearly a week, while other students followed suit in protests. Less than 24 hours later; and now a professor, Dale Brigham has resigned over racially motivated threats of violence.
Reportedly, Brigham had emailed his Nutritional Science class advising them not to give into bullies but also stated that if they did not show up to class to take a scheduled exam, then they would fail because the exam would still be handed out during the normal class period. However, many of his students emailed the professor upset and outraged because on one end, Brigham’s advice was to remind them not to give into any taunts but on the flip side of things, the message was interpreted as, ‘if you are too scared’ to show up to take the exam, then that is their problem. The professor later sent another email to the class advising the students that the exam could be rescheduled for a later date and time. Apparently, to ease the racial tension that has flooded the campus in recent months and the backlash he received from his angered students has caused Professor Brigham to resign.
Yesterday, a campus wide email was sent out urging people to contact the University’s police department and report any ‘hateful and/or hurtful’ speech. The email also stated, no doubt for liability reasons on the part of the university; reminding people that free speech is a constitutional right and is not always illegal; however, students can still be punished by the Office of Student Conduct if found guilty of violating the student handbook.
All of the University of Missouri schools (the University of Missouri – Saint Louis or UMSL, the University of Missouri – Rolla or UMR, the University of Missouri -Kansas City or UMKC, and the University of Missouri – Columbia or Mizzou) have a code of student conduct which prohibits any type of harassment against any unwelcome verbal, physical, or sexual conduct against a person or protected class in which it creates a hostile environment; this includes but is not limited to general bullying, cyber bullying, retaliation and threatening or intimidating practices.
Today, Hunter M. Park, 19 was arrested in Rolla, Missouri after he posted online threats against all black students at the University of Missouri – Rolla. He is a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is currently sitting in a jail in Columbia for suspicion of making terrorist threats. Reportedly, Park posted his threats on social networking websites including a newer social site, YikYak in which he made statements to “shoot every black person!” The police did not recover any weapons. The congregation of protesters have thinned out on the Mizzou campus but it is believed to be due to the recent violent threats against black students.
Also in the news today, Connor Stottlemeyer, 19 from Blue Springs has been accused of making threats of physical violence against others at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. He also took to the social media phone application, YikYak. It is unclear at this time who exactly he targeted, whether it be a specific race, gender, ethnicity, students and/or faculty.
This is getting out of hand and has a remembrance of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots with a twist of Sociopathic tendencies.