Marlon Anderson, the security guard at Madison West who was terminated last week for using a racial slur in his own defense, has been rehired by the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Speaking exclusively to Madison365, Anderson said his termination has been rescinded but that he will be on paid administrative leave while he negotiates a plan to return to work. He will work at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County until then, BGC CEO Michael Johnson said.
“I feel a lot better, but it appears this policy is still intact,” Anderson said. “The policy needs to be dealt with as well. I’m still fighting that. I am transitioning my fight. I am no longer just trying to get my job back, I’m fighting to end a policy that’s not effective.”
Anderson was fired Wednesday following an incident in which an unruly student repeatedly used a racial slur against him, and he used the same slur to tell the student to stop.
More than 1,000 students walked out of West on Friday and marched to the district office where Black Student Union leaders met with administrators and demand Anderson be reinstated.
Anderson said he’s been contacted by other former school staff who have gone through similar experiences.
“I think you’ll be hearing from lots of other people coming out of the woodwork,” he said.
In a statement, Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education president Gloria Reyes said she asked Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore to rescind Anderson’s termination and that the district will review its policies and practices around racial issues and use of racial slurs.
“In our commitment to tackle anti-racism we have created universal practices using the non-discrimination policy to protect those who are most impacted by racial slurs,” Reyes wrote. “This is an opportunity for the board to review the policies and practices that are currently being used and dive deep into the issues of racism in our schools. It is important that we do not harm those that we are trying to protect.”
School Board member Ananda Mirilli posted on Facebook that she supports Reyes’ statement.