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?

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

The people asked and Trijicon answered. Introducing the RMRcc miniature red-dot sight for compact, concealed-carry pistols. Trijicon's new RMRcc features the durability and reliable controls that have made the RMR so successful, but its reduced dimensions make the “Concealed Carry” model better suited for the popular small-frame pistols designed for discreet carry and personal defense.

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr head to the range to wring out the Umarex Air Ruger 10/22.

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

In this Guns & Ammo TV segment, Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr discuss the benefits of airsoft training for uniformed professionals and armed citizens alike.

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

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.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps.How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.

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...

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and deer; here's everything you need to know to make it work for you..350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know Rifle

.350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know

Tom Beckstrand - April 02, 2019

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and...

See More Trending Articles

More News

We have identified five state gun laws that are likely to be the law of the land if Democrats take control of the Legislative and Executive branches of government.5 State Gun Laws That Could Go National Politics

5 State Gun Laws That Could Go National

Guns & Ammo Staff - October 26, 2020

We have identified five state gun laws that are likely to be the law of the land if Democrats...

On Friday, August 14, 2020, the a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit released its opinion in Duncan vs. Becerra, a case that challenged the California ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.California Magazine Ban Update 2nd Amendment

California Magazine Ban Update

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 18, 2020

On Friday, August 14, 2020, the a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals...

Perhaps, a window to the future.The Gun-Control Plan 2nd Amendment

The Gun-Control Plan

Keith Wood - November 11, 2020

Perhaps, a window to the future.

True Velocity finalized delivery of more than 625,000 rounds of the company's proprietary composite-cased 6.8mm ammunition to the U.S. Army for consideration in the Next Generation Squad Weapon Program (NGSW).True Velocity Delivers More Than 625K Rounds of Composite-Cased Ammo to U.S. Army Industry

True Velocity Delivers More Than 625K Rounds of Composite-Cased Ammo to U.S. Army

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 07, 2021

True Velocity finalized delivery of more than 625,000 rounds of the company's proprietary...

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

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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