Last week I reported on Jared Marcum, the 8th grade student at Logan Middle School in West Virginia. Jared wore an NRA t-shirt that read “Protect Your Rights.” Below the wording was a picture of an assault-style rifle. A teacher took exception to the shirt and told Jared to remove it. When Jared refused, the principal was brought into the situation and Jared was eventually suspended from school and arrested for disrupting the educational process.
Jared says he was standing up for his First Amendment right of free speech. He also says that the shirt did not violate the school’s dress code in any way. He believes the teacher took offense to the shirt for personal reasons, not due to school policy and in so doing violated Jared’s constitutional rights.
Jared’s dad, Allen Lardieri was furious and is pursuing legal action against the school. He has obtained the services of an attorney who says that the arrest process conducted on Jared last week was done illegally and he is moving to have the charges dismissed. They are also in the process of obtaining the names and positions of everyone involved in Jared’s suspension and arrest so as to name them in the lawsuit.
On Monday, Jared returned to school wearing the same t-shirt that got him suspended. The school took no action against Jared for wearing the same shirt on his return. It would have been difficult for them to do so, since a number of other students were wearing the same t-shirt as Jared to show their support for him and the stand he took.
Jared Marcum has always been a model student and had never been in trouble at school before. Now he has an arrest record because of a teacher that tried to illegally bully him. Hopefully the legal action being taken by Jared’s father will not only expunge the arrest from his record, but will force some kind of punishment against the teacher and the school administrators who were part of the suspension and arrest. They need to pay some sort of restitution to Jared for their bullying and violating his constitutional rights.
In my book, Jared should still have a spotless record and be held up as a model student and citizen for standing up for his rights.