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Independent probe sought in W.Va. T-shirt flap

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

LOGAN, W.Va. (AP) — An independent investigator will look into an incident in which a Logan Middle School student was suspended after refusing to remove a National Rifle Association T-shirt he wore to school.

The Logan Banner reports the Logan County Board of Education agreed to hire the outside investigator.

Jared Marcum, 14, was charged with causing a disruption at the school on April 18. His stepfather, Allen Larieris, has said the eighth-grader was waiting in line in the school cafeteria when a teacher ordered him to remove the T-shirt or turn it inside out.

Marcum's lawyer, Ben White, says school officials told him Marcum's one-day suspension was appropriate because he was being disruptive. White says Marcum was exercising his free speech rights and his support for the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms

White also says the T-shirt did not violate the school's dress code.

Logan County Schools' dress code, which is posted on the school system's website, prohibits clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. Clothing displaying advertisements for any alcohol, tobacco, or drug product also is prohibited.

The Associated Press typically does not identify juveniles who face criminal charges, but Marcum and his family wanted his name and case known.