It’s nice to see when common sense prevails. The case against Jared Marcum, a 14-year-old West Virginia middle school student who wore a NRA t-shirt to school, has been dismissed:
Jared Marcum’s mother, Tanya Lardieri, was overcome with emotion after signing a dismissal order and cementing the fact that the criminal charges against her 14-year-old son, Jared Marcum, have been withdrawn.
“It should have come sooner but it’s done and we don’t have to have that concern anymore about him having a criminal record” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri tells WOWK. “I’m just glad that it’s over. His mother is glad it’s over.”
Jared’s attorney Ben White calls this a win for common sense. White says he’s heard too many stories of children being penalized for seemingly harmless behavior, just because each of these incidents included gun imagery of one sort or another.
“I didn’t think it would go this far because honestly, I don’t see a problem with [the shirt], there shouldn’t be a problem with this,” Jared told WOWK on April 18, the day he was arrested.
While Jared didn’t see a problem with the shirt, neither did the Logan County School District, as it has publicly stated that Jared’s shirt did not violate the district’s dress code.
Back in April, Marcum wore the “Protect Your Rights” shirt, which also displyed a rifle, to school. A teacher reported Marcum to school officials, who told him to remove the shirt or turn it inside-out. He refused.
School officials called the police, who order him to hide the shirt, Marcum again refused, citing his First Amendment rights. He was arrested for obstruction and given a one-day suspension. Upon returning to school, he wore the shirt again and received support from friends.
Because the shirt didn’t violate the school system’s dress code policy, the entire incident could have been avoided, despite the apparent sensitives of a teacher. Had prosecutors not come to their senses about the matter, Marcum could have failed time in a juvenile facility.
The incident took place shortly after the the Senate defeated several gun control proposals, including the expanded background check amendment authored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).