The West Virginia eighth-grader who was suspended and arrested in late April after he refused to remove a t-shirt supporting the National Rifle Association appeared in court this week and was formally charged with obstructing an officer.
As CBS affiliate WTRF reports, 14-year-old Jared Marcum now faces a $500 fine and a maximum of one year in prison.
The boy’s father, Allen Lardieri, is not pleased.
“Me, I’m more of a fighter and so is Jared and eventually we’re going to get through this,” Lardieri told WTRF. “I don’t think it should have ever gotten this far.”
“Every aspect of this is just totally wrong,” Lardieri added. “He has no background of anything criminal up until now and it just seems like nobody wants to admit they’re wrong.”
Officials at Logan Middle School in Logan County, West Va. maintain that Marcum, who has since completed eighth grade, was suspended for one day because he caused a disruption after a teacher asked him to remove a shirt emblazoned with a hunting rifle and the statement “protect your right.”
“She said, ‘Are you supposed to wear that in school?’” Marcum had previously explained in an interview with local station, WOWK-TV. “I said, ‘I don’t see why I shouldn’t.’”
In a move The Daily Caller can only characterize as courageous, Marcum returned to school after his suspension wearing exactly the same shirt. Students across the rural county showed their support for Marcum by wearing similar shirts on that day as well.