Charges Dismissed Against Teen Who Wore an NRA T-Shirt to School


Jared Marcum

Photo of Jared Marcum and his stepfather outside court

West Virginia middle school student Jared Marcum who was suspended, arrested and criminally charged after wearing an NRA T-shirt to school had all charges against him dismissed on Thursday.

He was facing a year in jail or detention and a $500 fine. Marcum’s lawyer, Ben White, reviewed the statements from police and the school principal with the prosecutor and both agreed that creating a criminal record for Marcum was a bad idea. [AP]

On Monday June 24th, according to wowwktv, Jared and his father were ordered to court by the prosecutors for a gag order hearing.

“We were here because the prosecution filed a motion for a gag order,” Jared’s attorney Ben White said.  “My opinion is because, seemingly, they want to take it out of the court of public opinion.”

The prosecutors hoped to silence Jared and his family, claiming to be acting in Jared’s best interests. The prosecutors agreed to lift the petition for the gag order if the parents agreed to waive confidentiality. It is believed the mother did waive confidentiality.

The reporter who covered the case for wowktv, Charlo Greene, was threatened with obstruction herself and thrown out of the court when she attempted to cover the hearing. You can check the video of her experience at wowktv.

The fiasco began in April when a band teacher ordered Jared to turn his t-shirt inside out as he stood on the lunch line because the shirt had a photo of a firearm and the words “Defend your rights.”

Marcum, a 14-year old honor student, refused.

The school wasn’t content with suspending him. They called the police.

He was cuffed and arrested for obstructing an officer and disrupting the education process.

Jared said that “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,” he said.

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. […]

After returning from his suspension in May, he showed up at school with the same T-shirt. He said he was thankful to his schoolmates for wearing the same shirt in a show of support. ”There’s a lot of people wearing this same exact shirt, showing great, great support and I really appreciate it,” the student said Monday before going to school.

With all the gang kids we have running around committing heinous crimes, does the government really have to go after this boy?