No more saggy pants for Arkansas school children

LITTLE ROCK, Ark Fri Apr 1, 2011 9:52am EDT

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark (Reuters) - Arkansas students who love their sagging pants should soon leave them at home.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe signed a bill on Wednesday that bans students from wearing clothing that exposes "underwear, buttocks or the breast of a female."

Arkansas educators have long complained about the drooping attire, such as young men wearing saggy jeans that expose the top of colorful boxer shorts.

"We feel the bill can improve the learning environment in schools," said Donna Morey, president of the Arkansas Education Association.

One concern of the General Assembly was that "student competition over the manner in which clothing is worn could lead to violence and injuries during school hours," according to the legislation. Lawmakers also said that students should learn to dress in a way that is acceptable in the workplace as they prepare to enter it.

The new law does not outline how school districts will punish students who wear such clothing.

"School boards will have to look at existing school dress code policies and make sure they are in compliance with this new law," said Kristen Gould, staff attorney for the Arkansas School Boards Association, a non-profit. "Many of them may well be, and if not, they will have to incorporate it into their current policy and design punishment in accordance."

Josh Cunningham, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that he was unaware of any other state with a ban of baggy pants in schools, although some cities have been successful in enacting such laws.

Florida is considering a bill similar to the Arkansas law. In that state, the NAACP has denounced the bill and said it unfairly targets black males.

In Arkansas, the bill had little public opposition, although several legislators voted against it.

"Individual expression is important to young people and dress is an especially strong statement of expression, and I don't think legislators should meddle with that," said Sue Madison, a Democratic state senator from Fayetteville, Ark.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune)

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Comments (14)
AMEN to that!! When I went to school girls were NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR PANTS-we had to wear dresses or skirt & blouse; and boys were NOT ALLOWED to wear jeans or T-shirts, they had to wear slacks and dress shirt. On ‘assembly’ day they had to wear a necktie. THIS WAS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN NYC.
I guess teens today don’t care how ridiculous they look with BUBBA shorts 10 sizes too big hanging down showing their ‘plumber’s crack’ & enough chains attached to set off a metal detector at 50 yds.

Apr 01, 2011 11:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
I think the punishment should be an “epic WEDGIE”, securely held in place by suspenders made with 1/4″ manilla rope, strung extremely tight, which must be worn for the balance of the schoold day.

Apr 01, 2011 11:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tubbycwilson wrote:
Don’t these young adults have parents? Can’t the parents insist on what their children wear? This has to start at home and not at school!

Apr 01, 2011 1:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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