Wisconsin students walk out to protest racial slur firing

Elias Hubbard
October 20, 2019

It cost him his job.

During his time at East and West high schools, Anderson said students have used that slur against him "many times", and that it has resulted in "restorative conversations" in which he explains the history, context and meaning of the word.

In an interview with the New York Times, he said he had been asked by Assistant Principal Jennifer Talarczyk to deal with a 17-year old student who had been accused of taking another pupil's mobile phone.

Last school year, at least seven Madison School District staff members resigned or were fired after using a racial slur in front of students. Once Anderson approached, the student unleashed a barrage of profanity-laced insults and racial slurs, including the n-word. But the student continued to call him different variations of the word.

The security guard recounted that he merely responded verbally to the situation and said things such as "don't call me that, don't call me the n-word, and don't call me n****r."
And I got fired.

On Friday, district school board president Gloria Reyes called for Mr Anderson's request for reinstatement to be reviewed quickly. However, at this point we have an opportunity to look more deeply into the response to the use of racial slurs in our schools.

But Anderson doesn't agree with the policy. He and the Anderson and the Madison teachers' union filed a grievance seeking his job back.

Come Monday evening, Anderson was called to appear before the Madison Metropolitan School District's (MMSD) school board for a hearing. The former Madison high school employee told reporters that he felt "targeted".

Anderson isn't without his supporters, though.

"We are pleased to welcome Marlon to this temporary position until his appeal is finalized by Madison Metropolitan School District", the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County wrote on Facebook. In a Facebook post announcing the hire, the nonprofit wrote that Anderson has "an fantastic track record" with local teens.

The group of protesting students marched through the streets of Madison and made their way to the school district's offices.

And if that wasn't enough, singer Cher even offered to pay his legal fees if he chooses to sue.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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