The real point for me is that the police should have never been called and the kid should have been left alone. Fourteen-year-old Jared Marcum wore a T-shirt to school that offended the administration because it said Protect Your Right with a picture of an AR-style rifle on it.
He was not arrested for wearing the shirt, he was arrested for obstructing an officer allegedly because he would not stop talking. Although he faces up to $500 in fines and one year in jail, we all know that will not happen, but this entire episode is ridiculous on its face. These school administration officials are way out-of-bounds here, and the zero-tolerance stupidity is doing no good what-so-ever.
From WOWK TV.
The Logan County Police Department initially claimed that the at-the-time 8th grade Logan Middle School student was arrested for disturbing the education process, obstructing an officer and Lardieri says that officers even went as far as threatening to charge Jared with making terroristic threats.
If Marcum made terroristic threats, charge him with that immediately. But to threaten to do so – and not charge – smells like the school administration and law enforcement was trying to get the kid to comply by threatening to send him to Gitmo or something. Sounds like an NCIS episode or something.
We obtained official court documents from both sides of this case. On one hand, the arresting officer from the Logan City Police Department, James Adkins, claims that when Jared refused to stop talking, that hindered his ability to do his job, hence, the obstruction charge. On the other side, Ben White points out that nowhere in the arresting officer’s petition, does it mention Jared ever making any threats or acting in a violent manner.
“Every aspect of this is just totally wrong,” Lardieri said. “He has no background of anything criminal, up until now and it just seems like nobody wants to admit they’re wrong.”
In my humble opinion the kid did nothing wrong. Heck, even the rifle’s magazine in the drawing was only a 10-rounder! What would the Supreme Court say? Well Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air points us to Tinker v.Des Moines Independent Community School District, with my emphasis in bold.
The court’s 7 to 2 decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reasons for any specific regulation of speech in the classroom. The court observed, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Justice Abe Fortas wrote the majority opinion, holding that the speech regulation at issue in Tinker was “based upon an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression, even by the silent symbol of armbands, of opposition to this Nation’s part in the conflagration in Vietnam.” The Court held that in order for school officials to justify censoring speech, they “must be able to show that [their] action was caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint,” allowing schools to forbid conduct that would “materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school.” The Court found that the actions of the Tinkers in wearing armbands did not cause disruption and held that their activity represented constitutionally protected symbolic speech.
Of course, some anti-gun politician will say the “interpretation” of the Constitution must change because of the [non-existent] increase in “mass” shooting events.
You can buy the T-shirt over at Cabela’s.