A high school security guard in Wisconsin who lost his job after he told a student not to call him the n-word, now has his position back while he is on paid administrative leave.
NBC15 reports that despite the Madison Metropolitan School District’s zero-tolerance policy for the use of the offensive word, after Marlon Anderson’s firing sparked outrage from the community they rescinded the termination and restored his job.
Anderson said he just used the word to tell a student to stop calling him a n*gger.
On Oct. 9, Anderson said despite repeated requests to refrain from the use of the slur, the student kept calling him a “n*gger” during their heated exchange at Madison West High School in Madison. Anderson and the student are both Black, The New York Times reported.
The West High community banded together to fight with Anderson to get his job back. He said the school system’s rule failed him in his use of the n-word.
The student, a senior, finished classes for the day and took another student’s cell phone. When the assistant principal stepped in, Anderson shared, the student pushed the assistant principal.
Anderson then tried to escort the student out of the building and while doing so, he said the student called him “n*gger” about 15 times. The security assistant then repeated the word when telling the student not to use it. He was ultimately fired.
After Anderson made national headlines, the singer Cher stepped forward and tweeted her outrage over the firing saying she was willing to help him pay legal costs.
According to a release from the union, Madison Teachers Inc., the district restored Anderson back to a paid job status along with full benefits.
“I thank God for the support. I thank God for the students and I’m so proud that they got out there and they fought, and that they made it happen,” Anderson said.
Anderson was offered a job at a local Boys & Girls Club.
Anderson’s son, Noah, President of the West Black Student Union, organized a walkout at the school.
“A slur is directed towards somebody to be derogatory. [My father] took a teaching moment as an African-American male to a younger African-American male why he shouldn’t use the word and why to not refer to himself that way,” Noah said Friday afternoon.
“I showed love and I got it back, and I think that’s a beautiful thing, Anderson said.
“I think it’s something everyone should focus on, because we fight each other so much over silly stuff.”
Anderson said the school zero-tolerance policy needs to be reviewed.
“I understand the intent for it, but it’s too rigid,” he said. “It’s too lazy. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be dealt with. You’re dealing with people with PhDs. You’re educated people. You can come up with a solution that works for everyone.”