by Jessica Chasmar
Logan, W. VA — A West Virginia mother is suing the Logan County Board of Education for violating her teenage son’s constitutional rights after he was charged and suspended for wearing an National Rifle Association T-shirt to school.
Tanya Lardieri filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of her son, Jared Marcum, who was charged in 2013 for disrupting the educational process and obstructing a police officer after he refused to turn his NRA T-shirt inside out, EAGNews.org reported.
A judge later dismissed the charges, but the school still forced Jared to serve a one-day suspension.
“The shirt was an un-alarming olive green tee shirt bearing the NRA logo, which is the letters ‘NRA’ in black, the words ‘PROTECT YOUR RIGHT,’ an image of a hunting rifle and the officials NRA logo which has an eagle and two cross firearms,” according to the lawsuit, obtained by the Charleston Gazette.
The lawsuit names several school board members, the school district superintendent, several teachers and staffers at Logan Middle School, as well as the principal and the school itself.
The lawsuit claims that Jared was waiting in the lunch line in the school’s cafeteria when he was physically stopped by school secretary Anita Gore, who placed her hand on his chest and prevented him from moving forward, The Logan Banner reported.
The teen was later charged with obstruction of justice because he refused to keep quiet after the officer ordered him to stop talking.
The family is seeking $200,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages for alleged violations of Jared’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, EAGNews.org reported.
A West Virginia eight-grader was arrested and charged with two counts of obstruction and disturbing the education process Thursday after he wore a National Rifle Association T-shirt to school.
Jared Marcum, a 14-year-old student at Logan Middle School in Logan, reported to 13 News that his NRA T-shirt with a picture of a gun on it ignited a dispute between him and a teacher that ended in his arrest.
“I’m still confused, thoroughly confused,” he told the station. “The school didn’t even make a statement to the news agencies, much less myself.”
The school would not comment on the matter. The Logan County School District’s dress code policy, however, prohibits clothing that displays profanity, violence and discriminatory messages, but it doesn’t mention anything about weapons, the station reports.
“They gave me no paperwork; all they said to my mother was not to bring me back to school the next day,” Jared said.
Jared’s attorney, Benjamin White, told the station that first they’ll be working on getting the charges dropped. Then, they’ll plan on filing any federal or civil suit that is in order.
“No matter all the attention, I have a genuine fear for my son,” Jared’s father, Allen Lardieri, said. “I do not know where his future lies. He has criminal charges, he has a bright future, this could do a lot to damage that.”
“I will go to the ends of the earth,” he added. “I will call people, I will write letters, I will do everything in the legal realm to make sure this does not happen again.”