Charges Dropped Against Teen Who Wore NRA T-Shirt To School


Earlier this month I took note of the case of Jared Marcum, a West Virginia teenager who was charged with a crime after refusing a teacher’s order to remove an NRA t-shirt he had worn to school. This week, we learned that those charges had been dismissed:

A criminal charge has been dismissed against a West Virginia middle school student who refused a teacher’s order to remove a National Rifle Association T-shirt he wore to school.

Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant signed an order dismissing an obstruction charge Thursday against 14-year-old Jared Marcum stemming from an April 18 incident at Logan Middle School.


Marcum’s attorney, Ben White, says Marcum was exercising his free speech rights and his support for the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. After a review of statements from the officer and the school’s principal, White says he and a prosecutor agreed that creating a criminal record for Marcum wasn’t a good idea.

Well, at least sanity has prevailed.

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control, Law and the Courts, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Wearing a Tshirt with an assault rifle on it to school? West Virginia LoL

  2. Tyrell says:

    Did the ACLU get involved here? If not, they should have been. Does a t-shirt really cause someone to be violent? T shirts are usually advertisements for products, schools, places, or belief/political statments. I can not remember a single thing I have done because of a t shirt.
    If there had been curse words or some lewd images then the school should simply call the parents.
    Since when is a student arrested for talking? The appropriate consequence would be to have the student write a sentence 20 times. The local community there would probably have no.problem
    with the shirt.
    We are seeing more of these knee jerk reactions by the school administrations: student suspended for making a rough gun image out of a pop tart, 5 year old held and interrogated for two hours because he had a toy cap pistol. Our high school long ago actually had a rifle competiion team of all shocking things. Some schools may still have these. We had a history teacher who had posters and pictures of Revolutionary War riflery and artillery. That would probably be banned now.
    All of this crazy mess needs to stop: “gunphobia”

  3. anjin-san says:

    That would probably be banned now.

    You spend a lot of time complaining about things that have not actually happened…

  4. george says:

    @Mark Ivey:

    Wearing a Tshirt with an assault rifle on it to school? West Virginia LoL

    Not sure its a big deal. At the local high school (Canada) kids where T-shirts with all sorts of guns (and bigger stuff like tanks, fighters, etc) on them. So long as its just t-shirts and not the real item, I don’t see the big deal – and full disclaimer, I think some gun control (for instance the current controls in Canada) are good thing. I just don’t see the point in “picture of gun” control.

  5. Hal 10000 says:

    So it all it cost him was his reputation, a permanent mark on his record, his schooling and presumably significant legal expense. Woo. Hoo?

  6. Rob in CT says:

    Yeah, while sanity eventually prevailed, it should have prevailed from the git go. Like the more recent incident with the girl buying water in VA… it’s like we’re trying to prove Churchill* right in even the smallest, everyday circumstances.

    * – The Americans will do the right thing, after they’ve exhausted the other possibilities.