Prosecution Seeks Gag Order, Reporter Threatened With Arrest, In NRA T-Shirt Controversy

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

A couple of weeks ago a kid in West Virginia made national headlines after he was arrested in a dispute with his school over wearing an NRA t-shirt. He had worn the shirt to school once and been suspended for it. When he wore it again, the police were called and Jared Marcum was arrested for resisting arrest.

Now, after Marcum and his father have been making the rounds in the national media, the local prosecutor wants the judge to issue a gag order. No doubt because the prosecutor doesn’t want these absurd proceedings to get any more press attention, but ironically enough the prosecutor is arguing that this is for Marcum’s own good.

Anyway, a local television station that has been covering the station prepared a petition to present to the court to block the gag order. Obviously, they are defending the public’s right to follow the case through their reporter. But when the reporter prepared to present the petition, she was thrown out of court and threatened with arrest:

Prosecutors were hoping to bar Jared, his father and his lawyer from sharing their story with the press, under the guise that their request would serve Jared’s better interest, something Jared’s father Allen Lardieri sees as ironic.

“It was for Jared’s better interest is what I was told, which seems to be a bit odd to me,” Lardieri said. “These are the same individuals that are trying to prosecute him, so as far as them knowing what is in his better interest, I have a lot of questions about that.”

Charlo Greene, on behalf of WOWK and the free press, prepared a petition to intervene for the gag order hearing but before Charlo could present her argument or even deliver her petition to the court clerk, she was thrown out of the Logan County Courthouse, twice, by a bailiff, who said the judge presiding over Jared’s case, Eric O’Briant requested it. Charlo was then threatened with arrest and the same charge that Jared is currently on trial for, obstructing an officer.

Meanwhile, Jared met with prosecutors who withdrew their petition for a gag order, on the condition that Jared’s parent waive the confidentiality that bars the prosecution from speaking freely about his case, due to him being a minor.

It’s strange to think that something like this can happen in America.

You have to wonder just how many tax dollars are being expended because this kid’s school has a problem with the 1st amendment.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Roy_Bean

    It’s almost unbelievable. This 14 year old kid wears a t-shirt telling people to protect the 2nd Amendment and, to protect his “rights” they try to suspend the 1st Amendment. If you want to attend the trial you leave your 4th Amendment rights at the metal detector. it wouldn’t surprise me if this was in the Peoples Republic of California, but South Carolina???

    The whole story is told in the agreement that if the kid retains his 1st Amendment rights then the persecution demands the right to do their best to prejudice the jury with their own statements. They don’t give a rats a$$ about the kid, they look like morons and they know it. I wonder if that deputy was Bull Connors daughter.

  • WOOF

    When did students get rights ?

    • sbark

      when they are transgender at the age of 10……..and a “girl” with guys plumbing wants to use the girls bathroom…….then they have all the rights I guess.

    • NDinMD

      They have always had rights. A person’s civil rights do not stop at the school house door.

      • WOOF

        The SCOTUS , (conservative wingers) says student rights stop at the steps of the Court.

        Justice Thomas :”…In my view, the history of public
        education suggests that the First Amendment, as originally understood, does not protect student speech in public schools…”
        Bong hits for Jesus …
        Morse v. Frederick
        Chief Justice Roberts offered this summary: “A principal may, consistent
        with the First Amendment, restrict student speech at a school event

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Don’t confuse nutters with the facts…..their “principles” are based on timing and politics.

    • Ratbite

      Went the United States Constitution was ratified by 9 states in 1788.

  • sbark

    Why does it seem like these attacks of the rights affirmed in the Constitution and Bill of rights are accelerating dramatically——–there is a new incident virtually daily at some level of govt at some location…….is the left attempting to acclimate the population, or do they presume their power transendes the Rule of Law?

  • mikemc1970

    Just more evidence of the bureaucratic fascist state we are currently living in. Stand up to exercise your first amendment right and that’s fine as long as your voice echos the progressive point of view, but show just an inkling of diversity of thought and you become a dangerous extremist or worse, a criminal, like this young has now been branded.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      Obviously the facts that Woof provided flew right over your head, not uncommon for a person of your short stature.

      • mikemc1970

        Petty little bureaucratic socialist unionized thugs that uphold the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. All in lock goose-step group think. That is what I was referencing.

        P.S. since the post, from woof, you are referring and replied to above, was put up a whole two hours + change after my own initial post in this thread, there was little chance I could have actually seen it prior. Unless of course I were to start huffing whatever it is that allows you to see forward in space-time.

  • headward

    Prosecutors could be disbarred for this kind of behavior. But then again, they’ll most likely get a spot in Obama’s cabinet.

  • Thresherman

    “He had worn the shirt to school once and been suspended for it. When he
    wore it again, the police were called and Jared Marcum was arrested for
    resisting arrest.”

    This is incorrect. Jared was suspended and arrested when he wore the shirt for the first time. Putting it that he was suspended then arrested on the second time makes it appear that he was given a warning and then defied school policy a second time which resulted in his arrest.

    In fact, when he was suspended and arrested on first wearing the shirt, Jarred was not given any paper work or reasons for the suspension. According to reporting done by the news station in the article;

    “The Logan County School District’s dress code policy prohibits clothing
    that displays profanity, violence, discriminatory messages and more but
    nowhere in the document does it say anything about gun images.”

    So far and it now has been a couple of months, the school has not produced anything to show that wearing the shirt was a violation of school policy. Perhaps that is why when the suspension was lifted, Jared wore the shirt again on his first day back and no objection was raised. If it was wrong once, shouldn’t it have been wrong twice? Unless, of course, it wasn’t wrong in the first place.

    In short, Jared wore a shirt that offended the political sensibilities of one teacher, but was one that he was perfectly entitled to wear, then the school called police to force him to remove a shirt that he was perfectly entitled to wear and when he refused to comply with a demand by the police officer, a demand the officer had absolutely no right to make, he was arrested and charged with obstruction and disturbing the education process.

    Interestingly, those charges were dropped, most likely because the school had no right to incite the incident, and were replaced with obstructing an officer. A charge that has a lot more gray area, which favors the prosecution.

    But the essential point remains, are you obstructing an officer when he is making demands that his has no authority to make? Apparently the authorities in Logan County West Virgina think so.

    Oh, and one more bit to add to this complete and utter farce, perhaps the reason why the school has no policy on images of firearms being illegal is because they would then have to get rid of their statue of a man with a gun that sits on the school grounds.

  • schreib

    If these morons still insist on pursuing this case, the young boy should insist on a jury trial. The prosecution would look like a bunch of fools and no jury would convict. There was nothing in the schools dress code that prohibited his t-shirt. My boys wore a shirt the said “this is what I look like when I call in sick” and it was a shirt depicting a deer hunter pointing a gun and looking through a scope.

  • Carolina

    W. Va. Not S. Car. Please don’t embarrass us any more. We already have Senator Lindsey Graham.

  • Ratbite

    Welcome to Barrack Hussein Obama’s Marxist dictatorship. Our rights are gone. The USA is DEAD Will we ever get it back? I do not see that happening. I mourn for my grandchilren!

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    A decade or so ago, I found myself in Small Claims Court as a result of some damage a truck driver had done to my car. The truck driver had failed to appear at the originally scheduled trial and the judge promptly awarded me what I had requested. On getting notice of the award, the truck driver’s company sent him and a lawyer back to court. At that second hearing, they asked the judge to schedule another hearing because the truck driver had “mistakenly” been told by his supervisor that he did not have to appear. At that point, I told the judge something akin to the following: “As I look around this courtroom, it occurs to me that I am the only individual here not on a timeclock.”

    You know, one might rationally conclude that trials and verdicts no longer really matter. These days, the process is the punishment and woe to he/she/it who deigns to interfere with that process.

  • SusanBeehler

    This case started with the shirt but it was not the shirt that was the problem, it was the child defying the authority of the school and than of the police. He is not being charged for wearing a shirt, he is being charged with obstructing an officer. As a parent you will set the tone of how a matter is handled. If you talk to any high school student they will tell you certain depictions on a shirt could cause a issue in school. Depiction or advertising an adult beverage or advertising on a shirt can draw discipline from the school. It is not the shirt which got the kid in trouble, it was his response when questioned about the shirt. Most kids will turn the shirt inside out and go home tell their parents they can’t wear the shirt because of the logo. As a parent they could take it up with the school or school board. If it is breaking the school rules, there is a proper way to handle it without having your child being arrested. As far as the press being allowed in the courtroom,that is also up to the jurisdiction of the location. In North Dakota you cannot walk into a courtroom with a camera, news media many times has to have permission for video taping in a court room. Many of these school rules seem intrusive and senseless, but it is up to us as parents to go through the proper channels to get the rules or policies changed, we can’t just yell it is our right because we think it is.

    • Marcus

      “we can’t just yell it is our right because we think it is.”

      I could not DISAGREE more.

      Rationalizing “irrational” rules to justify the sublime undercurrents of a greater ugliness does not remove the wrong behind the rules.

      Schools were intended as institutions of learning…, not indoctrination.

      People right and left are giving up fundamental rights under the guise of civility. However, there can be NO CIVILITY when one party is required to subjugate themselves to the will of another.

      Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

      – Also, what is not clear…, did the school have a rule banning clothing such as t-shirts or jerseys with slogans?

      • SusanBeehler

        Marcus are you a high school student? As adults there are proper ways to address school policies. Children do not have the legal authority to challenge policy with teachers, principals in a school setting. A child challenging that authority it may end up just like this, the child is charged with a crime. Adults can and should challenge polices through the proper channels. Rules need to be clear along with remedies. Nothing is clear in the media reporting on any of the school polices about the logo on his shirt. It was not the shirt which landed the kid in trouble, according the media accounts it was the way the student responded to the authorities when he was confronted.

        • Marcus

          Sue,

          Your attempt to qualify and categorize online “personalities” that take exception with your position(s) demonstrates irrational thought.

          Under the law, children in the United States are fully formed human beings with the same basic constitutional rights that adults enjoy. Like every other citizen, children have the right to due process under the law and the right to counsel. They’re also protected against cruel and unusual punishment and unreasonable searches and seizures.

          While I agree that people should be respectful of each other, regardless of age, the school could have sent the student home, called the students parents or suspended the student pending a school board hearing on the issue.

          Calling the authorities, many of whom “feel their oats” too quickly, escalates matters by using power rather than reason.

          Logan County School District, as it has publicly stated that Jared’s shirt did not violate the district’s dress code.

          The band teacher was OUT OF LINE for demanding that Jared change his shirt. Once again, the band teacher could have sent Jared to the principals office or school guidance counselor but the teacher chose to be confrontational, the student stood up for what he thought right, the teacher felt undermined and the rest fell devolved into a rather embarrassing situation for all.

          Society has become too quick to coddle irrational thought processes. Absolutely asinine to allow bleeding hearts to rule the roost when they use irrational justifications to perpetuate their causes.

          Respect is a two way street. Parents should teach it, schools and law enforcement should help shape it without resorting to ultimatums that drive society further down the paths of un-enlightenment.

          So it appears that I must DISAGREE with your position once again.

          • SusanBeehler

            I was not talking about the authorities as being the police officers, I was talking about the school authorities. We as readers do not know all the details of the matter, only what has been reported in the media. I could probably agree with you if more details were known. You or I are only speculating as to what actually happened. I have children who have had their t-shirt choice questioned, a son turned his inside out and a daughter stood her ground with the teacher, both incidents went no further. I would not want my children to take a stand with a teacher if the threat of law enforcement being involved was eminent. I would expect my children to ask for their parents to come to the school if they felt threatened by a teacher or the school. Children are minors and as minors it is up to the parents not the children to deal with unruly teachers or policies.

          • Marcus

            Sue,

            It does not make any difference if it was school, rent a cops or the local police department authorities.

            The incident was initiated by a teacher based upon a personal bias and the rest devolved from there.

            The Logan County School District stated that Jared’s shirt did not violate the district’s dress code. The teacher did not have any school district policy to base his initial demand upon.

            The school’s responsibility to educate and protect children was not at risk as a result of the t-shirt.

            UPDATED: Sue wrote: “I would not want my children to take a stand with a teacher if the threat of law enforcement being involved was eminent.”

            Curious that you used “threat” as the perceived value of their involvement.

  • LastBestHope

    UPDATED: NRA T-SHIRT KID SET FREE:

    “The West Virginia eighth-grader arrested after refusing a teacher’s demand he remove a National Rifle Association T-shirt he wore to school won’t face criminal charges after all.

    Jared Marcum, 14, was charged with obstruction following the April 18 incident after police who were called to Logan Middle School school said he refused to stop talking. The case generated national headlines, as Marcum’s family and attorney, Ben White, claimed the demand that he remove the NRA shirt violated his right to freedom of speech. On Thursday, Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant signed an order dismissing the charge.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/28/charge-dropped-against-student-who-refused-to-remove-nra-shirt/#ixzz2XXMRwhCa

    • LastBestHope

      W.VA is not a blue state…but apparently everyone working in our school system is a liberal zealot. For this nonsense to stay a story from April to late June shows the power these indoctrination centers have over our kids.

      Home School growing in size and scope all over America…a very good thing that needs all the support we can offer.

    • SusanBeehler

      This case went too far. Kudos to the judge

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