Marlon Anderson, 48, is a security guard with the Madison School District.
He was called during a situation with an unruly student who was being handled by the Vice-Principal. The student was using the n-word when Anderson told him to stop using the word, but what Anderson did, which got him into trouble, was repeat the word being used to alert the student that he was serious.
A black security guard at a Wisconsin 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.
The Madison School District has a policy forbidding employees from saying racial slurs. But, Marlon Anderson, 48, says he was just trying to defend himself after a disruptive student unleashed a number of obscenities on him, including that slur.
West High Principal Karen Boran sent an email to families on Wednesday asaying that racial slurs are not acceptable in schools, regardless of context or circumstance, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
But Anderson told the State Journal, “We’re fighting this,” and the Madison teachers’ union filed a grievance with the district on his behalf.
The school is completely misinterpreting the intent of the policy. The security guard stated to the student what the student must not do; he was precise; he was within his rights; he did what he should do. He is has held this position for 11 years and is deeply respected by all. HE DID NOTHING WRONG. He should be reinstated immediately.
“I just don’t understand getting fired for trying to defend yourself,” said Anderson, who worked for the district for 11 years. “As a black man, I have a right not to be called that word.”
Anderson said he was responding to a call on Oct. 9 about a disruptive male student who was being escorted by an assistant principal at West High. Anderson said the student pushed the principal’s hand off of himself, and the situation escalated, with the student, who is also black, calling Anderson obscenities including the slur.
Anderson said he told the student multiple times “do not call me that” and “do not call me that word,” and that Anderson repeated the slur during the confrontation while telling the teen not to use it.
Man times have changed. If I had done this to an adult when I was a student my Dad would have marched me right back to school, my ear and half a handful of hair clutched in his meaty hand and made me apologize and then volunteer me for five weekends of any work that needed to be done both on school grounds and the man I offended yard.
If there is a zero-tolerance policy and this man was fired for saying the slur, then why wasn’t the student who said it several times not expelled? Too bad the whole U.S. public school system is in the hands of leftist nut cases. Not that long ago, these rather infantile things would have been settled by the teacher the student and principal getting together and talking it over in a calm and commons sense manner. That usually did the trick on young students too immature to see the error of their ways.
Sometimes you have to use common sense. He wasn’t USING a racial slur; he was defending against the use of a racial slur. This was not an incident involving racism; it was an incident involving an angry, out-of-control student — who also happened to be black.
Zero tolerance is a good policy, but realistically, no system should be absolute. There are almost always exceptional circumstances that can occur. I believe this is such a case.
He made a mistake. Reinstate the man and remind him NEVER to use any racial slurs.
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