A West Virginia eighth-grader was thrown in jail briefly
and suspended last week after he got into an argument with his teacher over his NRA T-shirt, which he refused to take off.
WOWK-TV reported that Jared Marcum faces charges of obstruction and disturbing the education process for not removing shirt while in school. The shirt showed a rifle and the slogan, "protect your right."
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Officials at Logan Middle School punished Marcum, he alleged, after he got into the argument 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," said Marcum, who wore the shirt for five periods before he was instructed to remove it.
Allen Lardieri, Marcum's father, told WOWK-TV he is upset his son was 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. Local police confirmed Marcum's arrest last Thursday, though.
In a showing of solidarity, Marcum's friends reportedly wore shirts displaying images of firearms
. At least one of his friends, Dustin Vickers, was told by an educator to change his attire, according to the report.
Benjamin White, an attorney handling Jared's case, told News 13 he will be looking to get the charges, obstruction and disturbing the education process, dropped and then file any federal or civil suit that is in order.
White said the shirt did not appear to violate any school policy. Logan County Schools' dress code prohibits clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. It also bans garments with alcohol, tobacco, or drug product references.
Instead, White alleged the boy's teacher is the one at fault, for the way he reacted. White saw surveillance footage that captured the incident.
"I just don't understand why this teacher reacted the way he did," White said.
Lardieri said he is concerned for his son's future.
"No matter all the attention, I have a genuine fear for my son," Lardieri said. "I do not know where his future lies. He has criminal charges, he has a bright future, this could do a lot to damage that."
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