A major controversy recently swept the town of Madison, Wisconsin. Marlon Anderson, a high school security guard, has been allowed to return back to work after he was fired for asking a student to not use a racial slur.
According to Marlon’s Facebook page, Madison High School Superintendent Jane Belmore rescinded the decision of his termination.
“I’m back!! I will be placed on paid administrative leave and my transition plan is being negotiated,” Marlon shared with Channel 3000.
“I’m thankful. I’m blessed, and I’m so happy to be going back and doing what I do. I miss the kids. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running.”
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The incident occurred when Marlon was asked by the assistant principal to help in escorting a student from the campus. The student was resistant and called the security guard the n-word, among other expletives.
Understandably, Marlon eventually responded with the request that he not be referred to by a racial slur.
A few days later, Marlon was terminated due to their zero-tolerance policy.
“We’ve taken a tough stance on racial slurs, and we believe that language has no place in schools,” said Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes at the time, according to CNN.
As soon as the story made headlines, an online petition demanding Anderson be rehired circulated, receiving more than 16,000 signatures.
Madison High School also showed their support by staging a walkout. More than 1,000 students and staff members protested the firing.
“I am amazed at the dynamic support from my Madison Community your love is recognized and so appreciated,” wrote Marlon. I am still fighting for my position at West and for justice to be applied to my situation. I am also still fighting to challenge the ‘no tolerance’ policy that made me a casualty to its flawed planning and implementation.”
Katie Nave is a freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.