Opinion

May 8, 2013

Charles Oliver: Student suspended, arrested for NRA shirt

• Jared Marcum was suspended and arrested on charges of disrupting school after wearing a National Rifle Association T-shirt to West Virginia’s Logan Middle School. A teacher said the shirt, which had a depiction of a rifle on it, violated school dress code policy. That policy bans clothing that displays violence but says nothing about firearms. After he served his suspension, Marcum returned to school wearing the same T-shirt, and this time he was joined by dozens of students across the Logan County school system. Maybe next they can all wear T-shirts with the University of West Virginia’s Mountaineer, who is always holding a musket.

• In North Carolina, David “Cole” Withrow arrived at Princeton High School and found he’d left a shotgun in his truck after a weekend of skeet shooting. He called his mom to come pick it up, but an administrator overheard the phone call. Withrow was expelled and charged with felony possession of a weapon on school property. Local media discovered that an assistant principal and a teacher in that school system were also found with weapons on school property. The assistant principal was suspended for three days but never criminally charged. The teacher was cited for a misdemeanor and resigned. Both school officials and the Johnston County sheriff’s office say they are only following the law in meting out stiffer punishments to students than to teachers and administrators.

• A senior British court has upheld a government decision to bar Robert Haye from teaching. Haye was fired from Deptford Green School and later banned from teaching after telling students homosexuality is disgusting and condemned as a sin by the Bible.

• Officials in Camden, N.J., have agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by 87 individuals who had drug convictions overturned four years ago. Those convictions had been thrown out after an FBI investigation found that members of an anti-drug unit had stolen cash and drugs from suspected dealers, faked evidence and lied during grand jury testimony.

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