Student suspended over NRA t-shirt

An eighth grade boy has been arrested and suspended after he refused to take off an NRA t-shirt that he wore to school.

FOX News:

A West Virginia eighth-grader student has been charged with causing a disruption at his middle school after he refused to remove an NRA T-shirt that he wore.

The teenager was reportedly arrested and suspended last week after getting into an argument with his teacher about a National Rifle Association T-shirt he wore to school.

WOWK-TV reports that Jared Marcum faces charges of obstruction and disturbing the education process for refusing to change the shirt, which shows a rifle and the slogan, “protect your right.”

Jared told the station the he was punished by officials at Logan Middle School after arguing about the shirt with his teacher, who reportedly objected to the image of the gun on the shirt.

“What they’re doing is trying to take away my rights, my freedom of speech and my Second Amendment,” Jared told the station.

Jared’s father, Allen Lardieri, told WOWK-TV he is upset his son was briefly jailed for something he believes was blown 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 told the station.

A Logan County School District official refused a request for comment from WOWK-TV, but police in Logan confirmed Jared’s arrest last Thursday.

On the first day of Jared’s suspension, some of his friends reportedly wore shirts displaying images of firearms and at least one was told by an educator to change their attire, according to the report.

Police charged him with disrupting an educational process and obstructing an officer, he said.

“The only disturbance was caused by the teacher. He raised his voice,” he said.

A call to the Logan Police Department rang unanswered on Sunday and an automated message said the voice mail system was full.

Lardieri said Marcum wore the shirt during five class periods before he was ordered to remove it.

Logan County Schools’ dress code, which is posted on the school system’s website, prohibits clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. Clothing displaying advertisements for any alcohol, tobacco, or drug product also is prohibited.

Their lawyer, Ben White, said that the T-shirt did not appear to violate any school policy.

“I just don’t understand why this teacher reacted the way he did,” said White, who said he asked school officials to preserve surveillance video of the cafeteria.

White said he planned to meet Monday with Principal Ernestine Sutherland.

A message left Sunday at a phone listing for an Ernestine Sutherland in Logan wasn’t immediately returned.

White said schools can place restrictions on students to prevent disruptions, but can’t take away their First Amendment right to free speech.

“If a teacher is telling you to do something that’s wrong, I don’t think you should follow it. But I also don’t think you need to do it in a disrespectful way,” he said, adding that he does not think Marcum was disrespectful.

White said he also wants to get the criminal charges dropped.

15 comments

  • Susan

    I think they are making a big deal out of nothing. It’s a t-shirt. I think they need to worry more about the boys wearing their pants down past their butts – that is more inappropriate that a t-shirt with a national organization on it.

    Would it be an issue if it was a support Obama t-shirt supporting democrats? I don’t think so.

  • Follow the rules

    The issue is, his shirt had a gun on it. Guns aren't aloud in schools wether they are being carried or printed on a shirt. I'm sure this punk 8th grader knew this kind of reaction would have taken place and that's probably why he wore it. This is why all schools should follow a strict uniform policy. With uniforms as a dress code they won't have disruptive issues like this. Not to mention the wasted tax payer $$ from needing law enforcement present that day!

    • Joe

      And, dear neighbor, why did they need law enforcement for a shirt? Shirts might smell gamey at times but, they don't kill people. Also, the word is "allowed, " not "aloud." Soooooo, you not only flunked civics but, you didn't ace spelling either.

      • ericah

        a gun is not a sign of a terrorist, it is a sign of choice get real. unless he can take the gun of the shirt n use it, please teach our children, we don't need a teacher willing to make a fuss about a shirt.

      • Follow the rules

        Hey dumb ass…I'm not the one who called law enforcement to the school for a tshirt…they did.
        And as for "aloud" "allowed"….I use a feature that allows you to speak into a phone and it auto types. Didn't realize I needed to proofread my posts! This isn't English class!

    • Gun Owner

      There is no rule here to follow. Why does the shirt make him a punk. You are a Radical and need to move to a communist state, where brainwashing is common practice.

  • terry

    get real ! we are still a country with the right to bear arms,so I think you should be able to wear a shirt showing our military gun,at least he went to school ! good for you kid for supporting the NRA stand PROUD of yourself!!!

  • Cliff Snell

    Look..we are talking about West Virginia here…hunting and guns are a way of life for many of us….this teacher was very likely an implant …i understand the concerns of teachers about guns…they are scared for their lives….see what happens when you take God from your schools??Most teachers are liberal,educated types who have no Faith…if I were them…I'd be scared also…You Reap what you sow…Hey Big Government….leave our guns ,checks, and Churches ALONE!!!! I support Marcum's actions!!!

  • ericah

    this is just crazy, we overreact when we should and miss real signs when we should. let him get his education, and where his shirt. it is not offensive just a choice we still have them.

  • Thoughtstoconsider

    I think we should take educators out of the classroom, and replace them with TEACHERS. Most educators tend to push their personal beliefs onto the students, whether it is at the primary or secondary level. Put teachers back in the classroom, you know, the folks who actually "teach" and do not fill young, impressionable minds with their own ideals. Folks, our education system no longer encourages "free-thinking", but tends to cultivate a bunch of sheep who cannot think for themselves. Heaven forbid that a student would disagree with an educator's philosophy, that puts him/her in the administration's cross hairs as a radical or a troublemaker. With today's education system, I truly believe that we will never again see the likes of Albert Einstein, because individuals with fresh ideas are not encouraged to pursue them. Instead these individuals are punished or shamed in front of their peers, because they do not agree with the educator's point of view. For our education system to succeed, we need to put teachers back in the classroom, and eliminate the educators who go off the deep end when a child comes to school wearing apparel that does not have the approval of an educator. That is it in a nutshell, Jared Marcum wore apparel that was contrary to the left-leaning education system's point of view. A picture of a gun on a T-shirt will harm no one, it was a statement of Jared's point of view. Like I said, students are supposed to be sheep, and just follow the herd. Sad, isn't it?

    • Dan J.

      Very well stated!!! Those that don't agree are the product of a liberal/socialist society that has grown leaps & bounds over the year in our great nation. Unfortunately they spoke the loudest… Wake up people!!!

    • vic

      Nothing to do with this incident. The tshirt was a political statement with a picture of a weapon used recently in a mass school shooting that obviously made at least one teacher and i am sure other uncomfortable. It was distracting to the learning environment and we laws in this country that protect that.

  • vic

    This is inaccurate reporting. He was not suspended for wearing the tshirt, but for disobeying a teacher, and then a peace officer.

    It was a picture of an assault rifle similar to the one used in Newtown with what looked almost like blood splatter image around it.

    If he wore a bomb with the NRA logo after Boston would they object? The NRA fought against tracking gun powder used in that bombing, so why not?

    He was suspended for being a jerk, not for wearing the tshirt.

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