A West Virginia eighth grader was arrested in April after he refused a teacher’s request that he change his NRA T-shirt. Officially charged with obstructing an officer, 14-year-old Jared Marcum is now facing a $500 fine and a year in jail.
Jared was arrested on April 18 after he had an argument with a teacher at Logan Middle School. The teacher told Jared he had to change his NRA “Protect Your Rights” T-shirt or turn it inside out. Marcum refused.
The Logan County School District dress code, however, does not explicitly prohibit the wearing of clothing with images of firearms.
At the time of his arrest, he was charged with obstructing an officer and disturbing the education process. His father, Allen Lardier, said Logan County Police also threatened to charge Marcum with making terroristic threats.
"I never thought it would go this far because, honestly, I don't see a problem with this," Marcum said about the shirt. "There shouldn't be a problem with this."
A judge allowed the prosecution to move forward with the obstruction charge and now Marcum could face jail time. He has an otherwise spotless criminal record.
According to court documents obtained by WOWKTV, the obstruction charge hinges on the fact that when Marcum allegedly would not stop talking it hindered Officer James Adkins’ ability to do his job.
"Every aspect of this is just totally wrong," Lardieri said. "He has no background of anything criminal, up until now and it just seems like nobody wants to admit they're wrong."
Marcum’s attorney, Ben White, said the officer’s petition does not mention Jared ever making threats or acting violently.
"Me, I'm more of a fighter and so is Jared and eventually we're going to get through this," Lardieri told WOWKTV. "I don't think it should have ever gotten this far."
White says he is working to have the charges dismissed, otherwise Marcum will be back in court on July 11.