Wisconsin students protest firing of black security guard who scolded student for using N-word
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Wisconsin high school students walked out of classes on Friday and held a demonstration in the state capital to protest the firing of a black security guard who had been fired for repeating a racial slur while telling a student to refrain from calling him the epithet.

Students from Madison West High School left classes about 10 a.m. local time to protest the firing, according to The Associated Press. Local media reports estimated the crowd to be about 1,500 people.

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The protest centered on an Oct. 9 incident in which security guard Marlon Anderson, 48, responded to a call about a disruptive student at the high school. Anderson said the student, who is black, called him a series of epithets, including the N-word, to which Anderson responded that he should not be called those words. 

Anderson was fired under the high school’s zero-tolerance policy regarding employees using racial slurs. The Madison teachers union reportedly filed a grievance with the district on his behalf.

Students have repeatedly used slurs with him, Anderson said, and past exchanges have produced “restorative conversations” regarding the history of the N-word. 

The high school’s principal, Karen Boran, has said its zero-tolerance policy has been applied across the board with all staffers. However, district school board president, Gloria Reyes, said the school’s policy needs to be reviewed. 

“This is an incredibly difficult situation, and we acknowledge the emotion, harm and complexity involved,” she said. “Many people in our community and our district are grappling with that complexity, and we will continue to do so as we go forward.”