The Black security assistant who was fired after trying to educate a Black child on the use of the n-word is rejoicing after the school administration rescinded it decision to terminate his employment.
On Monday (Oct. 21) faculty and students at Madison West High School were greeted with good news as officials at the school district called the union representing Marlon Anderson, Madison Teachers Inc., to say his firing would be overturned and that he would be placed on paid leave, Doug Keillor, executive director of the union told the New York Times.
The school district’s reversal came on the same day that Gloria Reyes, the school board president of the Madison Metropolitan School District, released a statement saying that Mr. Anderson’s termination should be rescinded.
In regards to when Marlon Anderson would be officially back at work on campus, Keillor said that the district is working on a transition plan on “how best to reintroduce” Mr. Anderson to the school. Although the rehiring is great news, according to Anderson it shows the flaws in refusing to discuss race and how zero tolerance policies can remove the opportunity for teachable moments.
“I’m excited to get back to work,” Marlon Anderson said in an interview. “But the work isn’t done, because there’s still a lot that needs to be done in our district. This happened to me, it will happen again if we don’t change some of these policies.”
Last week Mr. Anderson was fired after repeating the n-word to a student while requesting that he not call him the offensive epitaph. The student, who was also Black, was directing the racial slur at Anderson in a derogatory way, when Anderson attempted to teach him about the offense attached to the word and repeated it when the assistant principal overheard the exchange via walk-in talkie.
“One of the many problems with the zero-tolerance policy, it takes away a teaching moment,” Mr. Anderson continued. “If there’s an opportunity to have a teaching moment at a school, you’ve got to take it.”
The district is now reviewing its policies.