Jared Marcum, the 14-year-old who was arrested and suspended from school after refusing to take off a National Rifle Association shirt, is facing up to a year in jail.
In April, Marcum caused a furor at his West Virginia middle school when he showed up in a T-shirt sporting the NRA logo, a picture of a gun and the slogan "Protect your right." Despite being asked several times by school officials to remove the garment, Marcum kept it on, reportedly saying he was not violating the school’s dress code and was exercising his First Amendment rights.
Last week, Marcum appeared in court and was officially handed the charge of obstructing an officer, reports CBS affiliate WOWK-TV. According to the Logan County Police Department, Marcum would not stop talking during the incident at the school, which prevented the attending officer from doing his job. However, Marcum's attorney, Ben White, told WOWK that the officer's arrest report did not mention the boy's allegedly excessive talking.
Nevertheless, Marcum faces a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.
The nature of the charge makes the incident less about the NRA shirt, and more about Marcum's behavior. In April, White defended the Marcum’s actions to the Associated Press, saying, "We at this point believe that Jared acted as mature as a 14-year-old child can act with the pressure that was put on him."
Although the school’s dress code makes no mention of NRA paraphernalia, it currently states the following: “If in the judgment of the administration, a student is dressed inappropriately, the student will be required to change clothes or cover up inappropriate clothing before returning to classes.”
Following Marcum’s arrest, students across Logan county wore similar NRA shirts to show their support for Marcum, reports the AP.