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Dad of West Virginia boy arrested over NRA shirt says he'll fight punishment

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Jared Marcum, 14, returned to class wearing the same NRA T-shirt that led to his suspension and arrest after he refused a teacher's order last week to remove it. (13 News)

A West Virginia teenager who was arrested and suspended from school after he refused to remove an NRA T-shirt is back in class.

Fourteen-year-old Jared Marcum of Logan returned to Logan Middle School on Monday after serving a one-day suspension.

His father, Allen Lardieri, told 13 News that the situation was exaggerated and said, "I don't see how anybody would have an issue with a hunting rifle and NRA put on a T-shirt, especially when policy doesn’t forbid it."

The school district's dress code prohibits any profanity, violence, discriminatory messages, but the report noted that gun images are not on the list.

"I will go to the ends of the earth, I will call people, I will write letters, I will do everything in the legal realm to make sure this does not happen again," Lardieri said, according to the report.

Logan County Schools Superintendent Wilma Zigmond didn't immediately return a telephone message Monday.

The teen's lawyer, Ben White, says school administrators maintain that Marcum disrupted the educational process. He says Marcum was exercising his right to free speech and wasn't disruptive.

Logan police arrested Marcum at the school last Thursday after he refused a teacher's order to remove the shirt. White says prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine whether to file charges.

Marcum has said that he was arrested on charges of disrupting an educational process and obstructing an officer, though White said Monday that the Logan County prosecutor's office is reviewing the case to decide whether to proceed.

Marcum wore the same shirt to school Monday. It displays the NRA logo and a hunting rifle. 

Other students across Logan County wore similar shirts, which display the NRA logo and a hunting rifle, to school in a show of support for 14-year-old Jared Marcum, said his lawyer Ben White.

Logan County Schools Superintendent Wilma Zigmond didn't immediately return a telephone message.

Click for more from 13 News

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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