Common Sense: Criminal charges against a West Virginia eighth-grader who was arrested and suspended after he wore a National Rifle Association T-shirt to school have been dropped.
Logan County Judge Eric O’Briant signed a dismissal order Thursday for 14-year-old Jared Marcum, who had been facing one year in jail on an obstruction charge after he refused to take off the “Protect Your Right” shirt with an image of a rifle.
The ordeal began in April when a teacher at Logan Middle School told Marcum to change his shirt. Dress code policy prohibits clothing that displays profanity, violence or discriminatory images or messages, but says nothing about guns. Marcum argued with the teacher, and was ultimately arrested for obstructing a police officer — because the teen refused to stop talking.
“The state of West Virginia is not interested in creating a juvenile criminal record for this defendant,” the judge’s order Thursday reads.
Ben White, the family’s attorney, hailed the decision as a win both for the prosecution and the defense, saying justice is alive and well in the county.
“The gun issue, with what’s going on, this is a victory for common sense,” White told WOWK.
While the criminal issue is finished, the family says they plan to move forward with a civil suit against the Logan County School District.