Black school guard fired for telling student not to call him the N-word by using it himself


October 20, 2019

By SARAH JAMES (WTDN) - Wisconsin's capital city school district is facing national pressure to reinstate a black high school security guard who was fired this week for saying the N-word while telling an unruly student not to use the racial slur.

The Madison School District is under fire for terminating Marlon Anderson's employment after Anderson referenced the racial slur to explain to a Madison West High School student why he shouldn't use it — a decision district officials say was made under a policy of zero tolerance, according to USA Today.

"The Madison, WI school district needs to grow a brain, and a heart, really quickly!" Arne Duncan, former U.S. secretary of education, said in a tweet Friday. "I’ve seen some crazy things over the years, but this is one of the worst."

And superstar Cher said if the fired security guard filed a lawsuit against the district, she would pay for it.

On Oct. 9, Anderson was escorting a disruptive male student out of the West High School building when the student started calling Anderson the N-word after pushing the school's assistant principal and threatening to beat her up.

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In responding to the abusive language, Anderson says he said the word himself in making a point to the student not to use it.

"Every type of N-word you can think of, that’s what he was calling me," Anderson said. "I said, do not call me that name. I'm not your N-word. Do not call me that."

West High School Principal Karen Boran later that week pulled Anderson aside, he said, and told him he had "an uphill battle" to keep his job. And in a letter Wednesday, Boran told parents a staff member — Anderson — would not be returning to the school after an investigation of the incident.

"As you know, our expectation when it comes to racial slurs has been very clear," Boran wrote. "Regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools."

The district's decision to terminate Anderson came after officials there grappled with a string of incidents involving race — including other teachers or staff members who use racial epithets in front of students.

Since last year, the district has fired or forced to resign six employees who used slurs at or in front of students. In that time, a middle school employee was accused of assaulting an 11-year-old black female student the staff member was attempting to calm down.

The episodes drew months of protesting from Madison residents who accused the district of allowing racist actions and thinking to persist in district schools.

Read This USA Today Full Article Here.

PHOTO 1: Madison West High School senior Noah Anderson, 17, president of the school's Black Student Union and son of the school's recently fired security guard Marlon Anderson, leads a rally in support of his father outside the school in Madison on Friday. John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

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PHOTO 2: Marlon Anderson poses for a photo Thursday in Madison. Anderson, a security guard at Madison West High School who was fired after he says he repeated a racial slur while telling a student who had called him that word not to use it, has filed a grievance seeking his job back. Steve Apps / Wisconsin State Journal

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