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MADISON, Wisconsin's school district in the capital is facing national pressure to reinstate a black security guard who was released this week, The Madison School District has come under fire for dismissing Marlon Anderson's employment after Anderson referred to the racist Slur to explain to a student at Madison West High School why he should not use it – a decision that district officials have made in the context of a Have met zero tolerance policy.

"The school district in Madison, WI, needs to build a brain and a heart really fast!" Arne Duncan, former US Secretary of Education, said in a tweet on Friday. "I've seen some crazy things over the years, but this is one of the worst."

And superstar Cher said that if the dismissed security guard filed a lawsuit against the district, she would pay for it.

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"Holy Smokes, I'm overwhelmed," Anderson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after hearing about Cher's offer – one he did possibly accept. Anderson said he'll complain if the district does not resume his job.

Nationwide criticism of Anderson's dismissal came when hundreds of Madison students came out of their classrooms to protest Anderson's dismissal and march two miles to the school district offices.

"The outcry from the students I worked with was just incredible and uplifting – it just shows that I did something right," he said.

Members of the school's black fraternity, This includes Anderson's son who met on Friday with the district superintendent and school board about the episode.

"Whatever concerns us, our voices will be heard," Noah Anderson said after meeting with district officials to a crowd of about 1,000 people

Anderson, 48, said on Friday in an interview with the Journal Sentinel that he does "a lot better" than days before.

On October 9, Anderson escorted a disturbing male student from the West High School building when the student began calling Anderson the N-word after shoving and threatening the school's deputy headmistress do not beat it up.

"Any kind of N-word you can think of, he called me that," Anderson said. "I said, do not call me that, I'm not your n-word, do not call me that."

Karen Boran, the director of West High School, pulled Anderson aside later this week and told him he had "a tough fight" to keep his job. In a letter from Wednesday, Boran told the parents that an employee – Anderson – would not return to school after investigating the incident.

"Boran wrote," Regardless of context or circumstances, racial abductions are unacceptable in our schools. "

Anderson called the policy" lazy. "

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"You can not eliminate racism by ignoring it – by trying to hide the word or legislate he said, "what if a white student calls a black student an N-word but does not say the word? It is the intention behind what you say. "

Madison School District Superintendent Jane Belmore said in a statement on Friday that the district I would strongly oppose the use of racist abduction, but also suggested that the officials review the guidelines that prompted Anderson's dismissal.

"We all here know that education is a dynamic social process. Sometimes it gets chaotic when we have to deal with deeply rooted values ​​such as what it means to be anti-racist, "Belmore said in a statement to students marching to their office on Friday.

" Let go I realize, "she continued," there is no doubt that linguistic matters and racial insults are harmful. However, at this point we have the opportunity to further investigate the response to the use of racial insults in our schools.

The school board's president, Gloria Reyes, also said in a statement that the school board is planning to review the district's policies governing when employees are disciplined for such a language.

Boran and a spokeswoman for the School districts did not respond to questions or request for an interview immediately.

The district's decision to quit Anderson came after officials there dealt with a series of incidents involving races, including other teachers or students Employees who used racist nicknames in front of students.

Since last year, the district has fired or forced Six employees who have been bent on or in front of students to resign. attacked a black student who tried to calm the staff.

The episodes dragged on Month long protests from Madison residents accusing the district of admitting racist acts and thinking of surviving in district schools.

Madison School District's former Superintendent, Jennifer Cheatham, told the Sentinel Journal in March that she does not believe that racism is increasing in the long-running school district, but that it is "being uncovered", also because of the efforts that have been made To remedy this racial inequalities in the district and raise the lives and experiences of black students and families.

"And, as hard and painful as it is, there is an opportunity for us to demonstrate once again that … we in no way tolerate racism," she said, implementing stricter guidelines – new rules that Anderson sees as wrong by ignoring the context and preventing him from defending himself against abusive students.

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"At the end of the day I feel I was called a derogatory term and I do not want to be called that because my mother, my father, my grandparents – they were called that word and could not say, "Do not call me that," Anderson said. "I'm the first one Generation in my family that can literally look you in the eyes and say, do not call me that. I do not think it's fair to try to take it from me. "As a black man, he is in a unique position among the mostly white co-workers to teach black children the problem of using the word as an expression of tenderness.

"We were labeled with that word that was given to us in suppression to mentally stay in the chains we used to be in," he said. "The problem is that (children) identify their skin as that word … I'm trying to make it a teaching moment. "

The indignation over Anderson's dismissal also came from other school administrators: Kaleem Caire, who runs a Madison charter school serving black students in low-income Madison households said this week, the district is based on a policy that is "lazy, harmful and incomplete."

According to these principles, the district may "actually Avoid the work of a Human Resources department by looking at the context in which such word (or any other) is used. "

Chris Ott, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union -Wisconsin, said the organization encourages the district to adopt a "more flexible" policy.

"There is no direct right to free speech at work, and schools should recognize the harm that racial insults cause and take action against it." However, this seems to offer a very different context than the one for which the directive was drafted and should be considered, "Ott said, calling the directive" draconian ".

Anderson is appealing the district's decision to dismiss him – a trial Belmore and Reyes said would progress "as quickly as possible" on Friday.

Follow Molly Beck on Twitter at @MollyBeck.


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