Middle School Student Jailed Over NRA Shirt?

In Charleston, West Virgina a 14-year-old student found himself in the middle of controversy and police custody after wearing a National Rifle Association t-shirt to school.

Jared Marcum, a student at Logan Middle School, wore a NRA shirt that also displays a hunting rifle last Thursday (Apr. 18). Upon entering the cafeteria he was ordered to remove it or turn it inside out. That’s when Marcum’s trouble began.

“I was surprised. It shocked me that the school didn’t know their own dress code and their own policy. I figured they would have known not to call me out on that shirt because there was nothing wrong with it,” Marcum said in a telephone interview.

Marcum refused and was then sent to school’s main office where he explained to the principle that he was not violating school dress code. However, school faculty actually called the police.

“When the police came, I was still talking and telling them that this was wrong, that they cannot do this, it’s not against any school policy. The officer, he told me to sit down and be quiet. I said, ‘No, I’m exercising my right to free speech.’ I said it calmly,” the boy said.

He was charged with disrupting an educational process and obstructing an officer. Acoording to the AP, the school’s policy on dress code reads as follows:

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.

Was the school wrong?

**The Associated Press typically does not identify juveniles charged with crimes, but Marcum and his family wanted his name and case known.**