Saggy pants legislation hot topic in local schools - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Saggy pants legislation hot topic in local schools

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)-- A Tennessee lawmaker wants students to pull up their pants and cover up.

While dress codes are usually left up to individual school districts, this proposal would create a statewide ban on kids showing their underwear, in any way, on campus.

The Tennessee legislature shot down the proposed "saggy pants" ban a few years ago when it included fines and community service.

This new proposal would leave it up to schools to enforce and decide punishment.

"From a school perspective, I just don't agree with the legislation," Central High School Principal Finley King says.
Principal King says Central High School's dress code already makes kids cover their bra straps and pull their pants up.  

"Their shirt tucked in with a belt," King says.

He says a law isn't necessary.

"We have some that try to push the limits and sometimes they have to have reminders and sometimes those reminders come along with detention," King says.

He says it's taking the matter way too far.

"I just think, 'where does it stop'," King says.

CSAS has a more relaxed dress code, but still prohibits underwear showing.

"Usually the rolling of the eyes, heavy breath, that kind of thing," CSAS Assistant Principal Jim Boles says.

He keeps a handle on the problem by giving out belts, zip ties or even old sweat pants from the basketball team.

"We try to do everything we can to keep the student in class and not to make a great deal out of it," Boles says.

He also says the legislation isn't needed.

"I would be surprised if it passed through," Boles says.

Students have strong opinions, too.

"That freedom of expression. Isn't that going against the constitution," Central High School junior Marresa Burke says.

"I completely agree with the fact that they're going to outlaw sagging cause I don't really like it. I think it's very disrespectful," Central High School Junior Tanner Robinson says.

"If that's what someone wants to do then that's their own wardrobe," Central High School Junior Jordan Baker says.

"I don't agree with it and I don't show my bra straps or sag my pants," Central High School Junior Savannah Gillette says.

Some say parents should be punished.

"If the parents tolerate that, then we're going to fight that battle at school," Principal King says.

"It kind of tells how you were raised. I was raised to where you look professional wherever you go," Dominique Dawson says.

Boles, a parent himself, says that's not always the case.

"Sometimes there are even students who change and then they change before they go back. We've run into that," Boles says.
This proposal also includes student athletes showing their sports bras.

Sponsors say its chances of passing are looking good. It's headed to the House floor for a vote, and is moving steadily in the Senate.
Currently Arkansas and Florida are the only states that target schools for a saggy pants ban.

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