Skip to main content

Read & React: West Virginia Student Suspended for NRA Shirt

Read & React: West Virginia Student Suspended for NRA Shirt

It seems more often we read news stories where it is apparent that at least in some areas of the country, the inmates are running the asylum, meaning people who are irrational or just plain nuts are the people in power making the rules — or in some cases, the laws.

The most recent, "Are you kidding me?" news story came from West Virginia, where a 14-year-old middle school student was arrested and suspended simply for wearing an NRA T-shirt. I looked into the story, convinced that there had to be something else involved — an assault on a teacher, drugs, something.

Nope. Jared Marcum was arrested simply because he wore an NRA T-shirt to school and refused to take it off. On the shirt was a picture of a hunting camoed AR-15 and the words, "Protect Your Right" along with the NRA logo. The shirt apparently upset a teacher in the cafeteria, who told Marcum to take off the shirt or turn it inside out. Marcum informed the teacher that the shirt didn't violate the school's dress code, so he was sent to the principal's office.

"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," Marcum told The Associated Press. "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." After the incident, local police charged Marcum with disrupting the educational process and obstructing an officer.


Check out the video from WOWK-TV in Charleston, W.V.:


According to the Logan County School District's dress code, students are forbidden from wearing anything that displays profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. Garments that glorify alcohol, tobacco or drugs are also banned. Still, Marcum's lawyer, Ben White, insists that the NRA shirt did not constitute a violation of the dress code, let alone grounds for an arrest. White requested copies of the surveillance tape from the cafeteria.

Video evidence in the case, White said, indicates the situation in the cafeteria deteriorated when a teacher raised his voice while confronting Jared. Other students jumped up on benches and began chanting Jared's name.

"I think the disruption came from the teacher," White said. After his one-day suspension, Marcum returned to school wearing the exact same T-shirt that got him suspended. Marcum was joined by about 100 other students across Logan County, W.V., who wore shirts with similar gun rights slogans in a show of support for free speech.


"I'm still confused, thoroughly confused," Marcum told a local TV station. "The school didn't even make a statement to the news agencies, much less myself."

The case has been turned over to the local juvenile prosecutor.

"My sense is that no charges will be imminent," White said.


We at Guns & Ammo can't believe any prosecutor would be stupid enough to press charges against Marcum, but then again, who would have thought Marcum would have been suspended and arrested in the first place?

This is a complete and total failure of leadership. Apparently there is no responsible adult supervision in Marcum's school; if there was, the teacerh, the principal and the police officer should have been the ones punished for misbehavior.

However, there is one thing we all learned from this story: Jared Marcum's parents are doing a darn good job.

What do you think? Is the school justified in suspending Marcum, or does the suspension violate his First Amendment rights?

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Guns & Ammo TV: Wheelgun vs. Pistol

Guns & Ammo TV: Wheelgun vs. Pistol

In this segment of “Pros vs. Joes,” we put competitive shooter and author James Tarr against Guns & Ammo TV cameraman Nathan Wilt. With handguns, they see who can knock down plates the fastest on two Revolution Targets Heavy Duty Plate Racks. Here's the catch: Tarr has to use a Colt King Cobra in .357 Mag. while Wilt shoots a Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 in 9mm.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

Guns & Ammo TV: Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm

Guns & Ammo TV: Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm

In this “At The Range” segment, Guns & Ammo Editor Eric Poole and Senior Field Editor Craig Boddington look over the features of the XD-M.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions. Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light Accessories

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 24, 2020

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick...

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight ready.14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See Handguns

14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See

James Tarr - December 20, 2018

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight...

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by examining the requirement around which Hornady designed the .300 PRC; the requirement came from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). .300 PRC Review Rifle

.300 PRC Review

Tom Beckstrand - March 12, 2019

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by...

In this segment of Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Rifles

Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 02, 2020

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr...

See More Trending Articles

More News

It's no secret that the demand for firearms and ammunition have reached record levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the civil unrest in cities around the United States, and the prospect of an anti-gun president on the horizon. As with previous surges in ammunition sales, primers are the current weak link in the supply chain. After interviewing several manufacturers, Guns & Ammo has learned that the lack of primer supply is a part of what's preventing ammunition makers from meeting this unprecedented demand.Great Primer Shortage of 2020 News

Great Primer Shortage of 2020

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 12, 2020

It's no secret that the demand for firearms and ammunition have reached record levels due to...

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF: Sen. Tammy Duckworth's Gun-Control Talking Points in Everytown Veepstakes

NSSF: Sen. Tammy Duckworth's Gun-Control Talking Points in Everytown Veepstakes

National Shooting Sports Foundation - July 28, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

9mm and .380 ACP ammo are hard to find, but .38 Special might be challenging them as the ultimate buy-it-when-you-see-it pandemic ammo purchase. It's worth considering a gun purchase to include .40 S&W police trade-ins or a pistol in .45 to better round out your options if you don't already own handguns in those calibers.Ammo Update: Panic Buying Continues News

Ammo Update: Panic Buying Continues

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 06, 2020

9mm and .380 ACP ammo are hard to find, but .38 Special might be challenging them as the...

The USA High School Clay Target League announced the clay target disciplines of ‘Sporting Clays' and ‘5-Stand' have been added to their high school clay target shooting programs, in which over 30,000 student athletes participate. USA High School Clay Target League Sporting Clays and 5-Stand Programs Industry

USA High School Clay Target League Sporting Clays and 5-Stand Programs

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 01, 2020

The USA High School Clay Target League announced the clay target disciplines of ‘Sporting...

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now