When eighth grader Jared Marcum got to school Thursday morning, one of his teachers objected to the shirt he was wearing. The Logan, W.V., school doesn’t have anything in its dress code forbidding pictures of weapons on clothing, but he was suspended from school and then arrested by local police. He faces two counts, for “obstruction and disturbing the education process.”
“I never thought it would go this far because honestly I don’t see a problem with this, there shouldn’t be a problem with this,” Jared told WOWK television.
Jared’s father, Allen Lardieri, is completely supportive of his son’s position and says he can’t understand why anyone would object to the shirt. He’s angry that he had to rush away from work to pick his son up at jail.
Didn’t we settle this sort of free speech argument long ago? In 1965, five Iowa students were expelled from their high school because they wore black armbands to show their opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war. The students and their families sued the school and the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that students have the right to express political views. For the first time, it was established that schools can’t stop students from expressing opinions that the schools disagree with.
Logan Middle School still hasn’t gotten the message that the First Amendment applies to them, too, whether they like it or not.