An West Virginia eighth-grade student was suspended from school and later arrested after wearing an NRA T-shirt with the picture of a gun to school and then refusing to take it off.
Jared Marcum woke up Thursday morning and decided to wear an NRA T-Shirt with the picture of a hunting rifle. When confronted by school authorities who told him to take it off, Jared refused. He was later arrested on two counts including obstruction and disturbing the education process.
The school district refuses to comment and the family has retained a lawyer.
Jared’s father Allen Lardieri says he’s angry he had to rush from work to pick his son up from jail over something he says was blown way out of proportion.
“I don’t’ see how anybody would have an issue with a hunting rifle and NRA put on a t-shirt, especially when policy doesn’t forbid it,” Lardieri said.
The Logan County School District’s dress code policy prohibits clothing that displays profanity, violence, discriminatory messages and more but nowhere in the document does it say anything about gun images.
“He did not violate any school policy,” Lardieri reiterates. “He did not become aggressive.”
Now, Lardieri says he’s ready to fight until the situation is made right.
“I will go to the ends of the earth, I will call people, I will write letters, I will do everything in the legal realm to make sure this does not happen again,” Lardieri said.
Logan City Police did confirm that Jared had been arrested and charged today.
For an eighth grader, the young man appears to have a remarkable clarity of mind:
“People are saying that I did the right thing, that they’re proud,” Jared said.
The 14-year-old student at Logan Middle School in Logan, West Virginia says the NRA shirt that sparked the controversy now symbolizes a fight that is just getting started.
“What they’re doing is trying to take away my rights, my freedom of speech and my second amendment,” Jared said.
“You can take the firearms out of the equation, what this about is fundamental rights,” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri said.
The school authorities wildly exceeded any possible mandate they might have to regulate speech and on a whim — or because of political bias — tried to enforce a non-existent dress code. Now they’re stuck with their behinds hanging out and don’t know what to do. So their only comment is “no comment.” They haven’t even told Jared or his family when he can come back to school.
If a student came to school wearing a T-Shirt with the NRA logo placed in a red circle with a line through it, the kid would probably be feted at a special school assembly.
As it is, poor Jared is on the “wrong” side of the issue and must suffer for standing up for his foul beliefs.