School Security Guard Fired After Telling Student Not To Call Him A Racial Slur

“How can a black man lose his job for telling a student to not call him the N-word?" Marlon Anderson asked.

Madison, WI – A high school security guard who was fired for using a racial slur during a “restorative conversation” with a student has filed an appeal with the school district in an attempt to get his job back.

Marlon Anderson worked for the Madison School District as a security guard for 11 years, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

“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,” Anderson told the paper.

“I had no idea I was going to be terminated, because I didn’t understand that zero tolerance meant there is no context attached to the word,” he said.

The incident occurred on Oct. 9, after Anderson was called to a West High School to handle a disruptive student, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Assistant Principal Jennifer Talarczyk was escorting the student out of the school building when Anderson arrived.

At one point during the altercation, the student – who is black – unleashed a string of profanities against Anderson, to include the “N-word,” The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

“Do not call me a n----r,” Anderson told the teen. “Do not call me that word.”

According to Anderson, Talarczyk made no attempt to stop the student from using the slur, but she did activate her radio, which broadcasted Anderson’s conversation with the teen.

Anderson said Talarczyk’s action made him feel “targeted,” The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

West High School Principal Karen Boran addressed the longtime security guard’s firing in an email to parents and guardians on Oct. 16.

“Regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools,” Boran said, referring to the district’s zero-tolerance policy.

The student involved in the incident could face a potential suspension up to five days, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Anderson said he is appealing his firing, and that he has received an outpouring of support since he posted about the incident on social media, WMTV reported.

“I didn't have an opportunity to be mad, scared, worried or anything. I just got hit with a busload of love," he told the news outlet. "Literally people have stopped me on the street and just gave me a hug.”

"In the context in which I used the word I was trying to correct a behavior, and correct the mentality and have a restorative conversation with the young man,” Anderson noted. "If a young man is walking through the hallways and walking through life with a mentality that ‘I'm a n-word,’ he needs to be told you are so much more than a word that was given to you to oppress you.”

He said he would have understood the district’s decision to fire him if he would have called the student by a derogatory term, but remained adamant that he had done nothing of the sort, according to The Wisconsin State Journal.

Madison West High School students have rallied around the former security guard, and staged a walkout in protest of his firing on Oct. 18.

“They are educating us,” school board president Gloria Reyes said of the students, according to WKOW. “They are our future, and we have to consider them in making decisions and policies that impact them directly.”

Singer and actress Cher has also offered to cover any of Anderson’s legal expenses, WMTV reported.

Anderson has since been hired as the director of program operations for the Dane County Boys and Girls Club, WAOW reported.

The position is intended to be temporary to allow Anderson to go through the appeals process with the school district.

“I think this specific circumstance is going to raise the issue of amending the policy,” Madison Teachers Inc. Executive Director Doug Keillor told The Wisconsin State Journal. “This is a situation that clearly shows context matters.”

Comments (70)
No. 1-21
Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

It's about one person of color telling another to have some self respect, like the kid's father might say to him. Boy, don't refer to yourself by that term, and don't call other people it either.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Security guard was right. And, no, just because the brats are the future, they shouldn't be educating us--the teachers/administration/parents should be teaching THEM! Hence, the root of the problem.

Bodie
Bodie

Beyond ridiculous. This is who's running our school. Let the Admin. Go.

JDS
JDS

Unreal. Give him his job back, with a raise.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Amazing..... just another example of the failure of zero tolerance policies. If admin don't have the intelligence to see how this termination is inappropriate, they deserve to be replaced with competent staff.

gfc1963
gfc1963

How can he get sacked for telling the kid not to call him the n-word?? He did nothing wrong at all.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Isn't this point where @Hi_estComnDenomn says something about zero tolerance meaning just that?

JBo
JBo

The guard is absolutely correct. I wonder if the student was expelled. My guess? No.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

OMG this article was tailor made for HCD. "Don't be callin' me N----R... Who's more racist? black people or white people? Here's your answer... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE-x4

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301 Nah, I don't discuss certain stories with outsiders. Family only.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

If there is no context to a situation then there is no regard for the outcome of the policy. This situation is the result of lazy thinking. Fanatical administration is for ticking boxes, not managing people. This man has been shafted. Apologise and reinstate.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Madison school district rescinds termination of staff member Marlon Anderson

Includes two video interviews of Anderson. He spends a lot of time discussing others, rather than himself, which is really an sign of a person with incredible integrity. He seems like a really great man to me...

tfort
tfort

This is what a zero policy gets you. The good guard is paying the price for a ridiculous Tell them to knock it off and go on.

bryantrent
bryantrent

So stupid

NomonK
NomonK

What I don't understand when a Black person calls another Black person the "N" word no big deal but as a white person I get called a Racist and Attacked merciously if I even type it out in this post. The fact is that there are Racist in every race. The Black Racist are RACIST to those of darker skin within their own race. Those sweet Muslims have captured and used as slaves more blacks than whites. There are Black Tribes in Africa that to this day enslave opposing tribes. In Europe the world nigro simply means black.

Ladyfluterby
Ladyfluterby

Zero tolerance policies = Complete lack of common sense especially within the education system.

DR226
DR226

First and foremost the school should have an assembly to address that PC and zero tolerance policies have been way overuse, brought about by the liberals and easily offended plus leftist ideology. Only a five day suspension for the kid, but a life altering decision for the guard. Unbelievable!!! Now I'm glad to see the guard got his job back--- someone woke up!!

Chief Deputy
Chief Deputy

The assistant principal should get her ass in trouble for keying her radio mic open for everyone to hear. If she is that much afraid of the situation, she should stay the hell in her office or change professio. The kid faces possibly 5 days suspension but Mr.Anderson faces no employment no income.

Grog
Grog

This is absolutely crazy!

Aramovich
Aramovich

I believe I read that he was rehired.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

Can’t believe this guy lost his job for that, this is ridiculous.