Cher Offers To Lend A Hand To Former Security Officer Fired After Telling A Student Not To Call Him A 'N****r'
The security guard is appealing the decision to get his job back and receive back pay.
October 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Update (October 21, 2019) : Students and teachers are upset after a Black high school security guard was fired for telling a disorderly student to stop calling him a "n****r."
Last week, Marlon Anderson, a former security guard at West High School in Madison, Wisconsin, was called to assist in escorting a defiant student from the school’s premises, he told CNN. During the incident, where the assistant principal was also present, the student resisted being removed by yelling and pushing the administrator. According to Anderson, when he called for backup, the student began cursing at him and using the term.
Initially, Anderson said he asked the teenager to stop using the racial slur toward him without saying the word. However, when he said, ”Don’t call me [n****r],” that’s when everything changed.
Students in support of Anderson responded to his termination by staging a walkout on Friday. One of the students was Anderson’s son, Noah, who is also president of the school's Black Student Union.
“We’re also going deeper,” Noah told ABC 27 News. “We want our voices to be heard within all the decisions that affect us and the school district.”
Some teachers joined with students in support of their former colleague, with even the teacher’s union filing a grievance on behalf of Anderson to be rehired and receive back pay.
“He is the reason that most of our Black students show up,” Michelle Bayouth, a Latin teacher at West High said. “He makes them feel wanted in this school.”
Noah and his fellow students were able to negotiate with administers, who admitted that the policy on the slur needs reformation.
“They are educating us,” school board president Gloria Reyes said. “They are our future, and we have to consider them in making decisions and policies that impact them directly.”
In addition to the support he is receiving from students and colleagues, Anderson is also getting the backing of the public — a Grammy-winning artist to be exact.
Cher has publicly offered to pay Anderson's legal fees should he decide to sue. She announced her support via Twitter Friday, calling the incident "disrespectful" and saying Anderson "deserves a better job" in which he is respected.
How Can Ppl Be This Disrespectful⁉️A Beloved,Man of Color Just Passed,& Our Nations Mourning Him.Cong.Elijah Cummings FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE.He Was loved & Feared. If You Want To sue MMSD Ed.Board I Will Incur Your expenses.????EC
— Cher (@cher) October 18, 2019
He Deserves a Better Job Where Ppl Respect Him as an Asset to the community. My Grandmothers were from the south & prejudiced. One morning I heard mom say….”My Girls Dont Know Those Words & They never Will.If You Want To See Them Stop it.
— Cher (@cher) October 19, 2019
In the meantime, the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County offered Anderson a temporary position as director of program operations.
The school board tells ABC27 that they will begin reviewing school policies around the racial slur and ensuring a board member attends the high school’s Black Student Union meetings next week.
Original story (October 18, 2019): A Black former security guard with a Madison, Wisconsin, school district was fired for saying n****r after a Black student used the slur first, WORT reported.
Marlon Anderson, an employee with Madison Metropolitan School District for over a decade, was responding to a call at West High School about a disruptive student.
The student was being escorted from the school building by Assistant Principal Jennifer Taracyzk when Anderson approached them.
Anderson said the student pushed the assistant principal's hand off his shoulder and shouted at Anderson, calling him a n****r.
Anderson said he told the student, “Do not call me that, do not call me n****r.”
Two days after the incident, Anderson said he was called to the principal’s office. He was informed about the school’s zero-tolerance policy for staff members and was later fired.
Black high school security guard fired for using a racial slur — after telling a student to stop calling him the N-word https://t.co/opHPbVUwYO
#Securityguard via @theblaze
— Chris ???????? (@Chris_1791) October 18, 2019
Gloria Reyes, the school board president, said officials will review the no-tolerance policy ruling.
“I think it is an opportunity for the board to review our current policy through a racial equity line, and I think it is a process that we’re going to have to move ourselves through and really lean into this and listen to our students and our community,” Reyes said.
Since the incident, the former security guard has filed a grievance to appeal the decision, seeking reinstatement of his job and back pay, The Cap Times reported.
“We’re fighting this,” Anderson said in an interview with the local newspaper.
He said he was unaware of the school's zero-tolerance policy which would later lead to him being fired.
“Because I didn’t accept it and tried to correct the behavior with hopes of a restorative conversation, I got fired,” Anderson told ABC 27 News.
“I need the district to answer the question of how can a Black man lose his job for telling a student to not call him the n-word.”