School guard fired for repeating racial slur student used is rehired after protests

A Wisconsin school security guard fired for repeating a racial slur while scolding a student for using it has been rehired after protests, a union official told The Associated Press Monday.

Executive Director of Madison Teachers Inc. Doug Keillor said school officials told the union interim Superintendent Jane Belmore decided to reverse Marlon Anderson’s firing. 

Belmore said in a statement to staff she will work with administration to “mitigate any harm that was caused and begin the healing process.”

“Our commitment to anti-racism and to use the input from community, especially our students is unwavering,” Belmore said in a statement obtained by the AP.

Anderson announced his return over Facebook, saying “I’m back!!” The security guard said he will be put on paid administrative leave as his transition back to Madison West High School is arranged. 

“Thank you to the 1,000 plus students for allowing your voices to be heard and to all the people from across the globe for reaching out to my family,” he said in his post.

Anderson was fired last week due to the high school’s zero-tolerance policy for employees using racial slurs. Earlier this month, the security guard had told a student, who is black and was calling Anderson epithets including the N-word, not to use those words.

Support rallied around Anderson as the Madison teachers union filed a grievance with the district over his firing, and 1,500 students staged a walkout on Friday to demonstrate on Anderson’s behalf.