Eighth Grader Arrested After Refusing to Take Off His NRA T-Shirt (VIDEO)

I am not a fan of the NRA. I am not a fan of guns. If you asked me whether or not I'd want a kid wearing a T-shirt that said "NRA" with a picture of a gun on it to the school where my children also go, I'd say "No." But then I have to ask myself why -- beyond my personal opinion of the NRA. And that is where I get stuck. An eighth grader in West Virginia was arrested after refusing to take off his T-shirt, which had the NRA name on it and the motto "Protect your right." The school's clothing policy doesn't specifically ban a shirt like that, although it comes close, as it bans clothes that "display violence."

When a teacher saw Jared Marcum with the shirt on -- which he had already worn to five other classes -- he reportedly demanded its removal. When Jared refused, he was arrested and also suspended after the altercation.

The school's 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."

So you can see how the image of the gun fits in a gray area here. But the family's lawyer (crazy how fast these lawyers come out of the woodwork!) says that the school interfered with Jared's First Amendment rights.

The presence of a lawyer already makes me wonder if Jared wasn't sent to the school with that shirt on for the sole purpose of trying to get a case going against the school. But that said, I'd have to agree with the lawyer. Just because you don't like the viewpoints or opinions of a T-shirt doesn't make it worthy of being banned -- unless all clothing displaying opinions, logos, mottos, quotes, or pretty much anything other than solid colors is banned.

This reminds me of a time I spotted a young kid in my neighborhood wearing an LGBT T-shirt. Since the kid couldn't have been more than 10 years old, I thought a couple of things. First, was the shirt the parents' idea or something the kid insisted on buying/wearing? Also, what was the reaction at school? Since this kid was in Brooklyn, and very likely could have had gay parents, I imagine the school's reaction was nil. But put that kid in a conservative, highly-religious district, and you might have a different story.

I would have supported this kid's right to wear his LGBT shirt, so I have to support the right of a kid to wear his NRA shirt. Although they represent different things entirely, both are politicized notions and the kids should get to express their political views if they're not banned by schools.

Back in the day, all of us kids wore band shirts. Some of them -- especially of death metal bands -- were pretty gory. I wonder if they'd be banned now?

Anyway, teachers could have seen this as a "teachable moment" and had the kid explain the NRA and his views on it to the class, and had someone debate him. Are differing viewpoints allowed in school anymore?

What do you think of the NRA T-shirt? How about the LGBT T-shirt?

 

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports


Image via News 13

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Vegeta Vegeta

I don't like guns (yet I'm wearing one now lol) but this t-shirt thing is a load of bs. A PICTURE of an INANIMATE OBJECT is considered violent? Jesus tapdancing Christ what if the kid had a black mamba printed on his shirt?! Would the swat team have been called? (mamba have the ability to do violent things all by themselves). I do think that he probably fought or become disorderly in order to warrant an arrest and have it be called an 'altercation' they cant arrest you for a t-shirt graphic.

Serab... Serabelle

If I were his parents the moment I got the call that my child got arrested for wearing a shirt (one i clearly bought him and saw him leave in btw) I would have been calling a lawyer! All this stepping all over our first (and second) constitutional rights in the name of political correctness is crap! You being offended by something means exactly crap! Your feelings dont trump my rights.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

Your last sentence says it all. No. No they're not allowing differing viewpoints in schools anymore.

Craft... CraftyJenna

I would have a lawer ASAP too. This is total BS. 

belon... belongs2Jesus

stupidity at it's finest. IT'S A SHIRT FOR CRYEN OUT LOUD IT CAN'T HURT YOU.

adrie... adrien_80

Arrested and not just suspended?  I would like to know exactly what they charged him with.  I would have lawyered up too!  It is a picture of a gun, not an act of violence.  A kid could stab another kid with a pencil, should we ban those too (and all pictures of them)?  Give me a break. Sensitive pansies.  This is what is wrong with our country!

Christian Rask Fauchald

Kudos to you for understanding this concept - that undermining the rights of another - simply because you don't agree with their opinions - undermines the rights of us all.

Is it wise? Is it PC? Perhaps not. It is, however, his right... and unless we want people dictating what we may or may not wear, do or say, we'd damn well better support and protect it for all.

Happy report that young Jared was back in school on Monday, wearing the same damn t-shirt and walking tall.

Good for him. Good for us all.

Jaimie Romo Heard

I don't think it should be allowed because it has a gun on it. I don't think we should be encouraging kids and guns.

nonmember avatar MomFromWV

I'm not a fan of the NRA, nor do I feel that just anyone should be able to own any type of gun. The matter of a gun being on a shirt at school does seem like a grey area to me, one that should have been dealt with by school officials. I definitely don't think that the police should have been involved if the only thing the boy did was refuse to remove the shirt.

Kimil... Kimilbug01

Now that's just silly.  Its a shirt.  With a picture of a gun on it.  What are the going to freak out about next??  The History books because they show guns in there??  Its a shirt.  How is it any different than a FFBLA shirt?  Or a FCA?  Or even band for that matter??  Now if this shirt he is wearing had the gun shooting people and stuff like that, I would understand.  It doesn't.  If my graduating class when to that school, I'm sure about 90% of them would be in jail, because they love to hunt and have shirts that show their love for it.  

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