A Black man who was fired from his job as a school security guard for telling a student not to call him the n-word has gotten his job back after a major national outcry.
Marlon Anderson was fired last week from his job at a high school in Madison, Wisconsin, after he told a Black student to stop calling him the n-word, while using the n-word to make his point. Anderson was fired under a zero-tolerance policy that district officials adopted after firing or forcing six district employees to resign for using racial slurs in front of or at students, according to USA Today. After he was let go, more than 1,000 students walked out of classrooms on Friday in protest of the school district’s decision.
In the incident, which occurred on Oct. 9, Anderson was escorting a disruptive male student out of Madison’s West High School building when the student started calling Anderson the slur after pushing the school’s assistant principal and threatening to beat her up. Anderson explained that he was only using the word to make a point, not to carelessly use it. “Every type of N-word you can think of, that’s what he was calling me,” Anderson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday. “I said, do not call me that name. I’m not your N-word. Do not call me that.” The assistant principal turned on her portable two-way radio, allowing the student body and administrators to hear the conversation. Following the incident, Anderson was placed on administrative leave until the district official could negotiate a “transition plan.” After an investigation of the incident, Anderson was fired.
But five days later, Anderson was hired back at his job. “I’m back!!” Anderson posted on Facebook. “Now we have to address the policy!! God is good!!!!” A spokeswoman for the Madison School District did not immediately confirm Anderson’s announcement, but Madison Teachers Inc. union executive director Doug Keillor said Anderson will receive full pay and benefits until his return to school is finalized. “MTI is pleased to see the District rescind the termination of Marlon Anderson, paving the way for him to return to the incredible work he does with Madison’s students,” Keillor said.