Iconic singer Cher and Wisconsin high school students have both voiced their support for a black security guard who was fired for telling a student not to call him the n-word, using the slur and ultimately going against school policy.
The legendary songstress shared in a tweet that she would ‘incur’ 48-year-old Marlon Anderson’s legal fees if he chose to sue the Madison Metropolitan School District.
‘How can people be this disrespectful?’ Cher asked in a Friday tweet, referencing a tweet that featured an emotional quote from Anderson.
‘A beloved man of color just passed and our nations mourning him. Congressman Elijah Cummings fought for justice. He was loved and feared. If you want to sue MMSD Ed. Board, I will incur your expenses.’
Cher shared in a tweet that she would ‘incur’ 48-year-old Marlon Anderson’s legal fees if he chose to sue the Madison Metropolitan School District
Cher’s passionate tweet came just hours after students from West High School in Madison staged a protest in support of the guard
Cher’s passionate tweet came just hours after students from West High School in Madison staged a protest in support of the guard who is appealing his termination.
The protest was organized by the West Black Student Union at the school and led by Anderson’s son, Noah.
Students walked from the school to the school district offices where Noah spoke on the difference of using the word as a slur versus as a statement.
‘What my father did is take a teachable moment from an African American male to a younger African American male. Why he shouldn’t use the word and not refer to himself that way?’ Noah said, WMTV reports.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County announced hours later that they had hired as the Director of Program Operations
Noah added that the walkout was just the beginning in getting the community to become more inclusive.
‘There has been tension in the MMSD for a while, and my dad just had to be a sacrifice for it. We’re going to get it fixed – especially with all the support that we see,’ Noah explained.
‘We started with what we want as students and that we want our voices to be heard. Anytime you make any type of decision and that they need to go into the communities – anytime they make a decision that affect a certain group of people.’
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County announced hours later that they had hired as the Director of Program Operations.
‘Marlon Anderson has an amazing track record working with local teens. Our CEO Michael Johnson worked with Marlon today to solidify a leadership role with Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County,’ the center said in a Facebook post.
In a brief Facebook post made on Wednesday, Marlon Anderson shared that he was fired from the Madison Metropolitan School District
‘Effective Monday, he will serve as our Director of Program Operations managing volunteer engagement, special initiatives and teen recruitment.
We are pleased to welcome Marlon to this temporary position until his appeal is finalized by Madison Metropolitan School District.
MMSD Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore released a statement saying more conversation would be needed to get a better response for the usage of the word.
In a brief Facebook post made on Wednesday, Anderson shared that he was fired from the Madison Metropolitan School District.
He claimed that a student repeatedly called him a ‘b***h a*s n***a.’
‘I responded ‘do not call me n***a !’ And I got fired,’ Anderson said in the post that has been shared more than 500 times and has more than 1000 shares.
He explained to the Wisconsin State Journal that he had been responding to a call to assist the assistant principal at West High School in escorting a disruptive student.
The student – identified as being black – reportedly shoved the administrator’s hand and started shouting obscenities at Anderson that included the n-word.
He was assisting an incident at West High School when a student – identified as black – started using the slur against him
Anderson shares he felt ‘targeted’ by the assistant principal at the school who held a radio near the guard as he and the student talked
As Anderson told the student not to call him that, he claims the assistant principal turned on the mic on their radio and moved it so other staff radios could hear what he was saying.
Anderson shares he felt ‘targeted’ as a result.
The security guard said that he has been called the slur by students from both East and West High School ‘many times.’ Those moments often end in ‘restorative conversations’ between him and the students.
Anderson is appealing the termination and has the backing of his community, who feel the policy is ‘lazy’
West High Principal Karen Boran sent an email to parents on Wednesday to inform them of the ‘serious incident’ that involved ‘a staff member using a racial slur with students.’
‘As you know, our expectation when it comes to racial slurs has been very clear,’ Boran said. ‘Regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools.’
Boran added that the zero-tolerance approach ‘has been applied consistently and will continue to be applied consistently.’
‘I also want to ask for your partnership as we work to make our school climate the very best it can be for all of our students and our staff,’ she added.
Superintendent Jane Belmore reiterated the sentiment, adding that there ‘has been shared several times through communication and professional development.’
In the last school year, there were at least seven cases where employees were either fired or resigned for using the slur.
Anderson is appealing the termination and has the backing of his community, who feel the policy is ‘lazy.’
‘MMSD needs to modify this lazy, harmful and whole-punched policy that allows it to avoid doing the real work that any HR department should do by looking at the context in which such a word (or any other) is used,’ explained Kaleem Caire, former CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison.
‘They are an academic institution and should be educating themselves and young people about the use of words like N****r, not running from it.
She later added: ‘Marlon should get his job back plus back-pay. Sometimes leaders have to admit they made a mistake rather than hide behind the mistakes they’ve made. It feels like that is what MMSD is doing here.
They committed to a flawed policy that was reactionary and not well thought through.