Family of 8th Grader Suspended for NRA T-Shirt Sues School Board

WOWK-TV 13/screenshot

In April 2013, then-8th grader Jared Marcum was suspended from Logan Middle School in West Virginia after refusing to take off an NRA t-shirt he wore that day. His mother is now suing the Logan County Board of Education.

ABC News reported that Marcum wore the shirt all the way through fifth period with no problem but was then “confronted by one of the school’s teachers while getting his lunch.” Marcum was given the option to take the shirt off or turn it inside out; he refused. Instead, he tried to debate the teacher about his rights and was eventually “arrested” and charged with obstruction.

To be clear, the charges were dropped, but the suspension was not.

Fox News reports that Marcum’s mother—Tanya Lardieri—has now filed a suit in federal court on behalf of her son. “The family is seeking $200,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages for alleged violations of Marcum’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.”

Fox News’s Kirsten Powers commented on the suit by saying that while Marcum’s family may or may not get “the hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages,” one thing is certain—his “free speech was impinged upon.”

Powers asked:

If it’s a public school, then isn’t that the government playing favorites over what you can talk about? You have to ask: Is it equally applied? Would it be any t-shirt? Is it anything that they consider a political view or they consider a view that is offensive?

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at [email protected]


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