A West Virginian eighth-grader who was arrested after refusing school staffers' demands to remove his pro-NRA T-shirt will not be charged with any crime after all, a court ruled. All charges have been dropped.
Jared Marcum, 14, the Logan Middle School student who defied school staff and refused to take off his National Rifle Association shirt, and who was subsequently arrested, won't face a year in jail or a $500 fine, said Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O'Briant, The Associated Press reported.
The judge signed an order dismissing all charges. The obstruction charge came after a police officer, called to help the school administrators during the April 18 standoff, said Jared refused to stop talking — and in effect, hindered his investigation.
The case received nationwide attention because of its First Amendment root and its tie to the gun issue.
The boy's father, Allen Lardieri, expressed joy with the court's decision.
"It should have come sooner, but it's done, and we don't have to have that concern anymore about him having a criminal record," he said to WOWK. "I'm just glad that it's over. His mother is glad it's over."
Jared's T-shirt said: "NRA Protect Your Rights" and was brown with a picture of a rifle. School dress code policy is broad and puts the decision for unsuitable wear in the hands of teachers, AP reported.
Students learning of Jared's arrest wore similar shirts the next day to school to show solidarity and were not punished or ordered to change.
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