By William R. Toler
After being suspended for refusing to turn his shirt inside out, Jared Marcum returned to school Monday wearing the very shirt that led to his suspension and arrest.
That shirt portrayed a rifle and the logo of the National Rifle Association with the words: “Protect Your Rights.”
“There’s a lot of people wearing this same exact shirt, showing great, great support and I really appreciate it” Marcum told WOWK before walking through the doors of Logan Middle School.
The West Virginia student is facing charges of obstructing an officer and disrupting the education process.
Ben White, the eighth grader’s attorney, has requested surveilliance video from the school that may show the dispute Marcum had with a teacher over the shirt.
Once they review the footage and conclude their meetings Logan County School District officials, they will decide who to name in a civil suit, which they say is imminent.
“There are cases on point for this exact situation and I feel strongly that we will prevail on this issue,” White said. “If the board supports the band teacher’s directive to turn the shirt inside out, obviously they’ll be named in that suit as well.”
When asked in person by 13 News about the situation, Logan County Superintendent Wilma Zigmond responded, “It’s not, ‘No comment,’ it’s the fact that I just can’t discuss the student.”
The sheer irony of this story is a student having to defend himself for wearing a shirt with the words “Know Your Rights.” A shirt that doesn’t even violate the school system’s dress code.
Let’s break down the charges. “Obstructing an officer” is often referred to as “contempt of cop.” This is purely conjecture, but he probably refused to do something the officer told him to do. As for the second charge, the education process wouldn’t have been disrupted if the teacher hadn’t rasied a fuss. It’s West Virginia for cryin’ out loud!
If you can’t wear a pro-Second Amendment shirt in West Virginia, where can you?
While I applaud and encourage the pursuit of a lawsuit, there is one sad truth. If any damgages are awarded, more than likely, the money will come from the school system (stolen from the people of Logan County via property taxes), not the individuals responsible, as government employees typically enjoy “qualified immunity.”
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