Reuters is reporting that Florida lawmaker Gary Siplin is welcoming students back to school by handing out 200 leather belts to help them comply with a new state law that bans saggy pants on campuses.
The Democratic state senator of Orlando, who pushed for six years for the so-called "Pull Your Pants Up" law, finally got his wish last spring. The state Legislature voted overwhelmingly to enact the ban at the start of the 2011-12 school year, making Florida and Arkansas the only two states with such a widespread prohibition against saggy pants for students.
"We want our kids to believe they're going to college, and part of that is an attitude, and part of that is being dressed professionally," Siplin told Reuters.
The statewide school dress code bucks a fashion trend with roots in prison attire and the rap and hip-hop music community. Siplin, who admits to sporting an Afro and platform shoes in his youth, grew tired of seeing young men wearing their pants so low, their underwear was exposed.
He originally sought to criminalize saggy pants, but the current law instead subjects repeat violators to up to three days of in-school suspension and up to 30 days' suspension from extracurricular activities. It also targets low-cut and midriff-exposing shirts on girls.
Other than the fact that we love how grunge culture gets left out of the saggy-pants debate, we wish Mr. Siplin good luck with enforcing this dress code. Perhaps he could focus on job creation, since it is being widely reported that more than 50 percent of black youths in this country are unemployed. Perhaps if they had some jobs to attend, then they might also pull their pants up?
We get it; dressing for success is important, and schools and parents should help sort that out. But when young people are facing such dire circumstances like chronic unemployment, shouldn't lawmakers be focusing their energies on solving that issue?
Read more at Yahoo News.
In other news: Obama: Policy Could Create 1 Million Jobs.