Education Gone Wrong

Jarud Marcum is a 14 year old boy who attends junior high school in Logan County, West Virginia. He showed up at school wearing a tee shirt that had the NRA logo and shouted to the world, “Protect Your Right.” The boy believes he has the right to possess  a gun and wants the world to know about his rights. He was informed by school authorities to remove the tee shirt and then engaged in a verbal argument with police who were enforcing the dress code of this school. He now faces the prospect of a $500 fine or a year in jail. There are reports that dozens of other youth wore tee shirts supporting his rights.

During the Vietnam War the Tinker children came to school wearing an arm band which depicted their opposition to the war. The Supreme Court in the Tinker Decision said students had the right to protest peacefully and that was not a violation of school rules. The same should apply to the Marcum case. Actually, this incident provided a teacher a wonderful opportunity to foster critical thinking. How about a debate dealing with either: the right to wear a tee shirt or a discussion about gun control?

Jarud belongs on a platform engaged in a discussion, not talking with police about his free speech rights. I am certain former educator, Barack Obama would agree.