A Wisconsin security guard was recently fired for telling a student not to use a racial slur. But, many people have rallied around him in support, including celebrity singer Cher.
Marlon Anderson, a 48-year-old black security guard at Madison West High School in Wisconsin, was fired after he repeated a racial slur. He did so in order to tell the student not to say the word, but the school fired him anyway. Anderson says he was simply defending himself after the student hurled the slur at him.
“I made a conscious decision to address the word because it is an epidemic,” Anderson told WISC. “Our kids use it every day.”
Anderson and the Madison teachers’ union filed a grievance to help him get his job back. Students at Madison West High School marched to the state capitol to protest Anderson’s firing. And, to top it off, Cher has offered her help.
Cher tweeted that she will pay for Anderson to sue the Madison school board if it comes to that.
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
Meanwhile, Anderson’s son Noah led the students’ march on the state capitol as the leader of the school’s Black Student Union.
Students are holding signs during their walk out pic.twitter.com/byWcuVJKFm— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) October 18, 2019
During the march, Noah and other student leaders met with interim superintendent Jane Belmore and Board of Education president Gloria Reyes about Anderson’s firing.
After the meeting, Noah told the crowd, “Anything to do with us, our voices will be heard. From now on, there will be no more decisions made without our consulting. In regard to Marlon, there is still a process going on. They took everything we said into consideration.”
Students are chanting “Zero tolerance has got to go” pic.twitter.com/JsDcQ0bJkw— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) October 18, 2019
Belmore said in a statement: “I want to thank our students for coming today and for engaging in a conversation with us. We support our students when they disagree with us and challenge us to do better. Employees always have the right to appeal decisions and we will move this process forward as quickly as possible. As we go through the appeal process, we will also be conducting a review of the current approach around racial slurs.”
District staff said that they’re speeding up the appeals process so a decision about Anderson’s job can be made as soon as possible.