‘A Victory For Common Sense’: Charges Dropped Against Teen Who Wore NRA Shirt To School


More than two months after 14-year-old West Virginia student Jared Marcum wore a National Rifle Association T-shirt to Logan Middle School, criminal charges stemming from his refusal to take off the shirt have been dropped.

Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant dismissed a charge of obstruction last Thursday, following an agreement struck with prosecutors and school faculty that there was no point in creating a criminal record for Jared, whose behavioral record as a student was previously unblemished.

(Side note: It took two months for adults to reach that conclusion?)

Prosecutors had been forging ahead in the case as recently as Monday of last week, when Jared was summoned back into court after the State had requested a gag order against both Jared and his father, Allen Lardieri, who had appeared on several television stations discussing the case.

Prosecutors had claimed the order was for the defendant’s own protection, but defense attorney Ben White found that a risible argument, saying it was simply a PR move designed “to take it [the case] out of the court of public opinion.”

Jared was immediately suspended following the T-shirt incident, during which he continued talking about how his 1st Amendment rights were being violated after band teacher David Burroway, who evidently wasn’t too keen on the 2nd Amendment, told him to stop arguing about changing shirts. But the then-eighth-grader’s persistence in voicing his beliefs incurred an obstruction charge.

Upon his return to school, Jared’s fellow students signaled their solidarity by wearing their own NRA T-shirts to class, with no opposition from school administrators.

“I think, with the gun issue, with what is going on, this is a victory for common sense,” White told WOWK-TV after the charges had been dropped. Jared’s parents have indicated they will file a civil suit against the school system.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Mith Radates

    The teacher and the administrators who supported him need to either be fired, with forfeiture of severance and pensions, or receive remedial training in how to conduct themselves. The kid deserves to be honored for his courage and we all should learn from his example. “What nation ever preserved its liberties that did not, from time to time, remind its rulers that the people preserve their spirit of resistance”. (T. Jefferson)

    • rendarsmith

      They can’t be, they’re protected by teacher’s unions.

  • dan

    …we really need to re-institute ‘ stocks’ or pillory in front of the local county seat

    • Average_Joe56

      And…an occasional public flogging…..followed by several weeks of public ridicule…. (I’ve always wanted to throw rotten veggies at politicians, what can I say?)

      • Elevenarrows

        Unfortunately, it would be conservatives, Christians, freedom-lovers, patriots, gun-owners, etc. that would be put in the stocks…certainly not the unconstitutional, power-hungry bullies that make most of these poor decisions.

      • JimH

        Hi Joe, Orange vests that say Community Service on the back would serve the humiliation part. Knowing what road they have to pick up litter on would help. That way we could be there so they know we know. Second the night before we could put some really nasty garbage out there for them to pick up.

        • vicki

          How about orange jumpsuits instead of just vests.

          • JeffH

            …and picking up the trash in their “exercise” yard…

      • dan

        I thought of flogging …but i hear the colonialists provided
        goose feathers for the bare feet …mocked AND tickled
        mercilessly :)

        • Average_Joe56

          But then you have a problem with folks like me….I’m not ticklish… at all……
          Flogging…. always works…..lol

  • SSMcDonald

    It is too bad that the civil suit will require taxpayers to fund the damages. Government employees are insulated above having to personally pay damages. The civil suit should punish the specific people who forced the issue in the first place. I agree with termination and forfeiture of severance and pensions as a minimum punishment.

    • Vis Fac

      Not if the parents sue the person(s) directly and not the school board. They can always sue the school board at a later date. This is a trick I learned from a “conservative” lawyer

  • me

    Watch out gun control idiots. the shirt might shoot you just like guns shoot people.

    • FreedomFighter

      Whom would have ever thought that being a real American would become a radical idea.
      Laus Deo
      Semper FI

  • Vigilant

    “…there was no point in creating a criminal record for Jared, whose behavioral record as a student was previously unblemished.”

    Right. I’ll sell you a bridge in Brooklyn too. In this era of lawyerly self-aggrandizement, when did you ever see a case dropped because “there was no point in creating a criminal record?

    Charges were dropped because the prosecution had no case, period. Even then they were too cowardly to admit their error.

    • FreedomFighter

      I like the kid already “He has a big set of Brass ones” and the part about all the other students wearing there NRA shirts in solidarity shows American youth are waking up too.
      SEMPER FI to you Jared and all those students that supported you
      Laus DeoSemper FI

  • Roger

    It is a WEAK victory because the judge missed the whole point.The issue is of NATURAL RIGHTS( Constitution) to FREE SPEECH. Here is what was said:”Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant dismissed a charge of
    obstruction last Thursday, following an agreement struck with
    prosecutors and school faculty that there was no point in creating a
    criminal record for Jared, whose behavioral record as a student was
    previously unblemished.” It is a defeat for FREEDOM as far as I am concerned, But then I am only a Libertarian,what do I know !!!

    • Vis Fac

      If your read Bob Livingston’s column this morning you would know that all judges and most politicians are lawyers that being said Judges view OUR constitution as irrelevant.
      “The U.S. government is run by and inhabited by psychopaths. Psychopathy by definition is a personality disorder characterized by shallow emotions with reduced fear and lack of empathy. Also, psychopaths exhibit coldheartedness, egocentricity, superficial
      charm and criminality. They are manipulative, irresponsible and impulsive. Governments attract psychopaths because these people have tremendous greed and they see government as a means of free riches and aggrandizement.

      No matter how much they steal or how many evil laws they pass, they believe that they do good and that they have “clean hands.” They have every opportunity for corruption. They believe that their constituency is a milk cow to use and abuse.

      They are antisocial, they lack remorse, and they are attracted to a parasitic lifestyle. More traits of government politicians (psychopaths):

      They don’t like the U.S. Constitution.
      They don’t like guns in the hands of the people.
      They don’t like silver and gold in the hands of the people.
      They don’t like small independent farmers and gardeners.
      They don’t like small shell re-loaders.
      They don’t like the Internet.
      They don’t like natural or alternative medicine.
      They do like paper fiat money.
      They do like the stock market.
      They do like genetically modified seeds and food.
      They do like vaccinations and inoculations.
      They do like wars.

      They do glorify death and ritual sacrifice

  • Chester

    They say “No need to create a criminal record” for this boy, yet there is now an arrest record that will exist for longer than he will. Wonder how that is going to look on background checks later on in his life. He was arrested and charged, but charges were later dropped. Sounds like a plea bargain, even if it wasn’t.

    • chocopot

      In all likelihood, his record will be sealed because he is a minor. It should not be a problem for him.

      • Chester

        Wouldn’t be too sure of that. Too much of it is already in the public domain, plus he was arrested and charged as an adult, not a juvenile.

  • Karolyn

    Every victory, however small, is a step in the right direction. The biggest problem is that most people don’t fight, probably because they can’t afford to. I was raised to fight for my rights.

  • JimH

    “No need to create a criminal record”. The fact he committed no crime should make that statement obvious.

  • tim

    The officials who brought these charges need to be charged with a conspiracy to deny the kid his constitutional rights.

  • Chris

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see this school come up with a strict dress code in retaliation!! LOL

  • BHR

    I don’t see how this T-SHIRT issue required the courts to be involved. How could the school do this in the first place, I SEE KIDS WEARING SHIRTS AT SCHOOL THAT SAY F#CK ME, that is offensive to me and morally wrong, but the schools do nothing. I hope the parents win a huge lawsuit against the school and teachers. The teachers and principal better be fired. School teachers are a blight in America today, no wonder Obama wants more teachers. Most teachers today are proud because they teach how being gay is normal and students who believe in GOD are wrong.

  • tim

    The parents probably dropped the suit against the school!!! The civil suit will be against the teachers and the principal who started the whole thing!!!! Hope they clean them out!!!!!! They will learn about the constitution real quick once they get sued for violating his rights!!!!!