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Eighth-grade student suspended, arrested for wearing pro-NRA T-shirt

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fourteen-year-old Jared Marcum is an eighth-grade student who attends Logan Middle School in Logan, West Virginia. He went off to school one day wearing a T-shirt that reads "NRA - Protect Your Rights" sporting a graphic with a rifle. It may be construed by some as insensitive wardrobe choice, following the school shootings in Newton, Connecticut - but the T-shirt got Jared suspended and arrested! Many now say that Jared's First Amendment rights were trampled in his support of the Second Amendment. Others point to the fact that the Logan Middle School parking lot features a statue of soldier carrying both a gun and a grenade!

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jared and his family say they're no closer to a resolution than they were when it all began of Thursday of last week. "People are saying that I did the right thing, that they're proud," Jared said. "What they're doing is trying to take away my rights, my freedom of speech and my Second Amendment," Jared said.

Jared's father Allen Lardieri is standing tall behind his son. "You can take the firearms out of the equation, what this about is fundamental rights," adding his questions remain unanswered. "I'm still confused, thoroughly confused," he says. "They school didn't even make a statement to the news agencies, much less myself."

Friends are showing their support for Jared. "I did try to wear a shirt with guns on it and I was told to take it off," Jared's friend Dustin Vickers said.
Attorney Benjamin White, who is handling Jared's case, says they'll be working on getting the two charges, obstruction and disturbing the education process, dropped. They also plan on filing any federal or civil suit that is in order.

Jared's father Allen Lardieri is infuriated that he had to rush from work to pick his son up from jail over something he says was blown way 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 said.

The Logan County School District's dress code policy prohibits clothing that displays profanity, violence, discriminatory messages and more but nowhere in the document does it say anything about gun images.

"He did not violate any school policy," Lardieri reiterates.  "He did not become aggressive."

Lardieri is hopping mad, and he says he's ready to fight until the situation is made right. "I will go to the ends of the earth, I will call people, I will write letters, I will do everything in the legal realm to make sure this does not happen again," Lardieri said.

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