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Charges dropped on teen arrested over NRA T-shirt, controversy continues

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NRA-t-shirtSeventy days later, sanity, or perhaps the will of the people, has finally prevailed in the case against the eighth-grader who was suspended and arrested after refusing to remove a shirt supporting the National Rifle Association.

Oddly, just one day after prosecutors filed a request for an emergency gag order in the case, criminal charges against 14-year-old Jared Marcum were dropped, according to the local CBS affiliate WOWK.

“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” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri tells WOWK. “I’m just glad that it’s over. His mother is glad it’s over.”

The story became a national sensation with an outpouring of support for Jared, who was facing a $500 fine and a maximum of one year in prison. As noted by WSAZ News Channel 3, police report receiving about 100 calls a day on the case.

“Our phone calls are unreal,” Logan Police Chief E.K. Harper said. “We’ve got rashes of complaints, threats and everything in here.”

Jared’s attorney Ben White calls this a win for common sense: “I think, with the gun issue, with what is going on, this is a victory for common sense.”

Now that criminal charges are behind them, Lardieri and White say they plan to move forward with a civil suit against the Logan County School District, WOWK  reported.

The school district has publicly stated that the NRA t-shirt did not violate the district’s dress code, and the arresting officer claimed that Jared was arrested when he refused to stop talking, thus hindering the officer’s ability to do his job.

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Tom Tillison

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