From the moment 13 News first broke this story on 13 News at 11 on Thursday, emails, Facebook posts and phone calls from people all across the country have been pouring in. Despite all of the attention, Jared Marcum and his family say they’re no closer to a resolution than they were when it all began.
Jared Marcum, an 8th grade student, was suspended, arrested and is now facing two charges after refusing to change his shirt.
“People are saying that I did the right thing, that they’re proud,” Jared said.
The 14-year-old student at Logan Middle School in Logan, West Virginia says the NRA shirt that sparked the controversy now symbolizes a fight that is just getting started.
“What they’re doing is trying to take away my rights, my freedom of speech and my second amendment,” Jared said.
“You can take the firearms out of the equation, what this about is fundamental rights,” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri said.
Lardieri says his questions for the school district remain unanswered.
“I’m still confused, thoroughly confused,” he said. “They school didn’t even make a statement to the news agencies, much less myself.”
After several attempts the only comment 13 News received from the Logan County School District was no comment.
“They gave me no paperwork, all they said to my mother was not to bring me back to school the next day,” Jared said.
So, while Jared spent the first day of his suspension at home, some of his friends showed their support for Jared at school.
“I did try to wear a shirt with guns on it and I was told to take it off,” Jared’s friend Dustin Vickers said.
One question that many are asking is how clothing that displays images of firearms can be punishable when a statue with a soldier carrying both a gun and a grenade stands proudly in the school parking lot.
“No matter all the attention, I have a genuine fear for my son,” 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”
13 News was contacted by Benjamin White, the attorney handling Jared’s case. White says first, they’ll be working on getting the charges, obstruction and disturbing the education process, dropped. Then, they plan on filing any federal or civil suit that is in order.