Union filing grievance on behalf of West HS guard, after being fired for repeating racial slur

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 9:38 AM CDT
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A black security guard at a Wisconsin high school says he was fired after a student used a racial slur against him and he repeated the word when he told the teen not to use it.

Madison School District officials say they have zero tolerance for employees saying racial slurs. But, Marlon Anderson says he was just trying to defend himself after a disruptive student unleashed a number of obscenities.

Madison Teachers Inc, the area's union for teachers and staff, confirms to NBC15 that the union is filing a grievance on behalf of Anderson.

MTI executive director Doug Keillor says Anderson is appealing his termination because he believes there was no just cause for it. Keillor says Anderson is seeking to get his job reinstated and receive full back pay.

There will be an hearing date set within a few weeks as the grievance process moves forward, according to Keillor.

West High Principal Karen Boran reportedly sent an email to families Wednesday afternoon that racial slurs are not acceptable in schools, regardless of context or circumstance.

Anderson says he plans to fight the termination. It's not known whether the student faces disciplinary action.

Students are planning to walkout in protest on Friday in support of Anderson.

President of the West Black Student Union and son of Marlon Anderson, Noah Anderson, said what happened is an injustice that needs to be fixed.

"I'm not impressed with this school district and what they represent," said Noah Anderson. "I think that it needs a lot of student voices and student voices need to be heard."

The students plan to walk to the Madison Metropolitan School District's Doyle Building.

"I really hope they take what we have to say into account," said Noah Anderson. "I just hope they listen."

Skyler Kieler, a freshman at Madison West, is also planning to walk-out on Friday.

"It's really bad how the school handled the situation," said Kieler. "Even though there's a zero tolerance policy, there's a difference between upholding a rule and upholding a right."

MMSD Board of Education president Gloria Reyes released a statement Thurday, saying that the school board will "review our approach, the underlying policies, and examine them with a racial equity lens understanding that universal policies can often deepen inequities."

Karen Boran, Madison West High School's Principal sent a statement to families on Wednesday.