- (Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
A student has been jailed for wearing an NRA T-shirt at school, according to reports this week.
A 14 year old West Virginia student has been charged with disrupting an educational process and obstructing an officer by police.
The incident took place when student Jared Marcum wore a T-shirt to school that displayed the National Rifle Association's logo and hunting rifle. He insisted that the T-shirt did not violate any dress code in place at Logan Middle School.
Marcum said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press: "I was surprised. It shocked me that the school didn't know their own dress code and their own policy. I figured they would have known not to call me out on that shirt because there was nothing wrong with it."
Marcum had already been in five classes in the morning without any problems, and was waiting in line at the school's cafeteria last Thursday when a teacher told the eighth grade student to remove his T-shirt immediately or to turn it inside out to hide the logo.
He refused, insisting that he was not breaking any school dress policy, resulting in the teacher sending him to the school office to be disciplined.
The student was left shocked when the police were called: "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. 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."
The incident concluded with the police charging him with disrupting an educational process and obstructing an officer.
According to the school's website Logan County Schools' dress code prohibits clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. Clothing displaying advertisements for any alcohol, tobacco, or drug product also is prohibited.
Marcum's family has now hired attorney Ben White, who has reviewed the case and the school's official policy and backed the student's view that he did not appear to violate any rule.
"I just don't understand why this teacher reacted the way he did," White has told AP.
He has now asked school officials to obtain the surveillance video of the cafeteria as evidence of what happened.