Open letter to MMSD superintendent urging Marlon Anderson’s return, policy changes

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Community leaders co-wrote an open letter to the Madison school district superintendent, urging Marlon Anderson get his job back, among other recommendations.

Michael Johnson is the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, also Marlon Anderson's new employer.

Michael Johnson, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, is Anderson’s new employer for a temporary position. Anderson was fired from his position as a security guard at Madison West High School because he said the n-word after a student used the term on him.

Johnson said the district “made a misstep” in immediately terminating Anderson, a result of the zero-tolerance policy on racial slurs.

In the letter published on Facebook Saturday afternoon, Johnson and community activist Brandi Grayson wrote a three-prong request to the superintendent.

They recommended the district allow due process, placing “the accused employee on ‘paid leave’ until all the facts are on the table and a committee of MMSD [school district] employees are reviewing the facts before terminating any employee.”

“We believe this was and not putting this issue in context was the biggest issue in Marlon Anderson case,” they added.

Johnson also told NBC15 that to begin a “healing process,” the district must change Marlon’s status. “Place him on administrative leave until the case is heard by the board because right now his family doesn’t have health benefits,” he said.

Anderson said he wants to return to his old position.

District officials did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

“There could be potential civil unrest if there’s not a quick response,” Johnson said. “The fact that this has garnered national attention is something that our city needs to reflect on.”

He added that he spoke to the superintendent multiple times on Friday, when a massive student-led walkout showed support for Anderson.

“I think she was very, very open,” Johnson said about the superintendent. “But I also know that she has to work with the school board and get feedback from her legal counsel.”