Baggy Pants: Wear at Your Own RiskMeredith Carroll
The city of Opa-locka boasts a thoroughfare named Sesame Street, but there’s nothing G-rated about a new law on the books in the south Florida city.
City leaders voted unanimously last week to make it legal to fine people up to $250 or sentence them to 10 hours of community service if they don’t pull up their pants, with one official saying low-slung pants are a distraction in schools and intimidates the public.
“It’s time for us now to try to teach our people how to dress,” said Commissioner Timothy Holmes.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union isn’t pleased with the ban, saying the law disproportionately penalizes “African-American youth [and] increase[s] contact between youth and law enforcement.”
One sector likely thrilled about the new ban? Parents who are sick and tired of telling their kids to wear a belt and pick up their pants. After all, what better way to enforce a standard of decency than telling your offspring, “Well, I don’t care what you wear, but there is a law.” No word if officials are mulling a similar ban on wearing hats indoors, cheek and eyebrow piercings, and Miley Cyrus.
A middle school principal in Memphis probably thinks a similar law would be superfluous in his city, as he has his own way of dealing with droopy drawers: He “Urkels” students who arrive at school in violation of the dress code. That is, he forces students with low slung pants to hike them up as high as possible and then fastens them as tightly as possible with plastic ties. It’s a look made famous (or infamous) by Urkel from the sitcom “Family Matters” of yore.
Dallas and Atlanta are said to be considering similar measures to that of Opa-Locka, while the city of Delcambre in Louisiana already fines offenders for baggy pants, or threatens jail time of up to six months.
Do you think it’s okay to ban baggy pants, or do you think the measure unfairly targets minority youth?