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Eighth-grader arrested over NRA shirt returns to school wearing same shirt

April 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM   |   Comments

April 23 (UPI) -- The West Virginia eighth-grader suspended and arrested last week after his refusal to remove a T-shirt in support of the National Rifle Association returned to school on Monday, the Daily Caller reported.

When he did return to school, he was wearing the same shirt.

The T-shirt depicts a rifle with the statement "protect your right."

Other students across the West Virginia county wore similar shirts to school in support of 14-year-old Jared Marcum on Monday.

“There’s a lot of people wearing this same exact shirt, showing great, great support and I really appreciate it,” Marcum said, according to local NBC affiliate WBOY.

Ben White, Marcum's attorney, said school officials haven't backed down on the suspension because they say he caused a disruption. "Their version is that the suspension was for disrupting the educational process, not the shirt," White told Fox News.

White asserts that Marcum was exercising his right to free speech, and that he had worn the shirt for several hours without incident.

A teacher confronted him at lunchtime. When Marcum said he would not take the shirt off or turn it inside out, the teacher began to yell.

"I believe the teacher was acting beyond the scope of his employment," White told ABC.

The school's dress code, which is posted online, forbids certain kinds of clothing -- for example, messages that support violence, discrimination and alcohol use.

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