Politics: 14-year-old wears NRA t-shirt to school, winds up facing a year in jail
Published by: Robert Laurie on Sunday June 16th, 2013
By ROBERT LAURIE - Police gone wild...
If you live in scenic Logan County West Virginia, you should know that your out-of-control police and judges are willing to arrest and prosecute 14-year-olds if they're wearing the wrong t-shirt. That's the lesson being learned by middle-schooler Jared Marcum, who was suspended, and subsequently arrested, after refusing to remove the NRA t-shirt he wore to class.
Back in April, Jared was in line for lunch when a teacher spotted his shirt. It read "NRA - Protect Your Rights" and featured a drawing of a .308 caliber semi-automatic rifle. The outraged "educator" gave him three options.
Since it's just a t-shirt, all three of Jared's choices were ridiculous:
A: Turn the shirt inside out
B: Change his clothes
C: Go to the principal’s office where he'd be suspended
Mr. Marcum refused to remove the violent, deeply offensive, piece of cotton and that's when the cops were summoned. According to the student they were called solely “Because I would not take this shirt off. Because I believe that I should have a right to wear this.”
Before anyone starts claiming that the shirt must have violated some dress code, be aware that the school only forbids shirts featuring depictions of violence, profanity, and discrimination. The last time we checked, a belief in the Second Amendment didn't fall into any of those categories.
According to Logan County court documents, when police arrived, Jared refused to be silent. His talking supposedly interfered with the officer's ability to do his very important t-shirt investigation, so the boy was arrested for "disturbing the education process" and obstruction. Normally, this is the kind of thing you might expect would have been done to scare the kid into shutting his trap. Surely there would be no need to file actual charges. Besides, even if the cops got a little zealous a judge would drop any complaints once Jared learned a valuable lesson about standing up his right to bear arms. ...right?
Sorry, not in Logan County West Virginia. They take random acts of "t-shirt wearing" seriously.
Friday, Judge Eric O'Brien decided that Jared Marcum should own up to the repercussions of his unspeakable crime and allowed the prosecution to move forward with the case. The boy now faces trial and possible penalties ranging from $500 in fines to a year in jail. If you think that's outrageous, you should just be grateful that the police have backed away from their initial, evidently unfounded, claims that Marcum made "terroristic threats."
Can anyone remember when schools taught kids to stand up for their rights, rather than persecuting them for doing so?
We'll keep an eye on this case. In the meantime, here's a local CBS news report on the matter.