Security guard fired from Madison West High reinstated by school district

In a news release, the Madison Metropolitan School District announced that Marlon Anderson, the security guard who was fired for repeating a racial slur after telling a teen not to use it, will be reinstated.

“I’m back!! While at work today at Boys & Girls Clubs, I learned from the Madison Teachers Union President that School Supt. Jane Belmore has rescinded the decision of my termination,” Anderson said in a Facebook post. “I will be placed on paid administrative leave and my transition plan is being negotiated. I will continue to work at the Club until we negotiate my return back to the district.”

Earlier on Monday, Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes asked the district’s superintendent to rescind Anderson’s termination.

“Going forward, we will review our practice and we remain dedicated to protecting our students and staff from harm by implementing practices that are reflective of the humanity involved,” Reyes said in the statement. “We will grapple with complexity and assess it through a lens of deep racial equity.”

On Sunday, Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, sent a letter to the district’s superintendent asking for three things: that Anderson be reinstated, that the zero tolerance policy is addressed and that, any time an employee is accused of a similar incident in the future, they be put on administrative leave rather than being immediately fired.

The district cited a zero tolerance policy for staff using racial slurs as the reason for firing Anderson. On Thursday, Anderson filed a grievance with the district seeking to get his job back. Anderson said his case should be reconsidered, given the context in which he used the slur.

Students and staff at Madison West High School walked out Friday to protest Anderson’s firing in hopes that the district administration would reinstate him.

That same day, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County offered Anderson a temporary position as director of program operations.

Anderson’s story gained national attention when Cher offered to pay his legal fees if he chooses to sue the district. Anderson said he would weigh all of his options and could still decide to file suit.

He could also ask her to do something else for the kids in the community. Anderson said he is in contact with Cher’s publicist and manager to talk about options going forward.

Anderson’s son Noah turned 18 on Monday. He was a key leader in Friday’s student-led protest.

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