Lawsuit expected soon in t-shirt controversy at Logan school

4-25-13 Update:

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WYMT/WSAZ) - The lawyer for the teenager who wore an NRA shirt to school says a lawsuit against the teacher who asked him to remove the shirt is imminent.

Ben White, who represents Jared Marcum, said his client’s First Amendment rights were violated.

Marcum was suspended and arrested after he was asked to remove the shirt. However, an attorney with Logan County Schools says the T-shirt did not violate the school’s rules. He went on to say that Marcum was not suspended for his t-shirt, but confidentially prohibited him from saying anything more.

Marcum, along with several other students, wore the T-shirt in question to school on Monday.

The attorney said the Logan County Board of Education is investigating the incident. The superintendent will take a closer look at all the facts and determine if any disciplinary action will be taken.

Although Marcum was arrested, charges against him have not been filed. The juvenile prosecutor in Logan County is still looking at the case to see if they will move forward with obstructing an officer and disrupting the educational process.

White said he will go to the school board Thursday night and ask that the suspension be wiped from Marcum's record.

Original story 4-23-13:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia teenager who was arrested and suspended from school after he refused to remove an NRA T-shirt is back in class.

Fourteen-year-old Jared Marcum, of Logan, returned to Logan Middle School on Monday after serving a one-day suspension.

His lawyer, Ben White, says school administrators maintain that Marcum disrupted the educational process. The lawyer says Marcum was exercising his right to free speech and wasn't disruptive.

Logan Police arrested Marcum at the school last Thursday after he refused a teacher's order to remove the shirt. White says prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine whether to file charges.

Marcum wore the same shirt to school Monday. The shirt displays the NRA logo and a hunting rifle.

Logan County Schools Superintendent Wilma Zigmond didn't immediately return a telephone message.


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