Are Elected Officials Trying to Be the Fashion Police to Your Children?

Across the nation politicians pass ordinances to get people to pull up their pants. Are they doing too much?

Posted: 08/31/2011 05:02 PM EDT

If you are a student in Florida it is now against the law for you to sag your pants at school and a Florida lawmaker recently handed out belts to help students comply with the new state rule.

 

On Monday, Democratic State Senator Gary Siplin of Orlando gave away 200 belts to encourage students to pull up their pants. For the past six years the senator has been pushing to pass what had been nicknamed the “Pull Your Pants Up” law. Last spring the state legislature voted and overwhelmingly passed the law, which enacts the ban to start at the beginning of the 20112012 school year.

 

“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.

 

But how far is too far? If you don’t attend a private school, beyond a dress code, should schools be able to tell students how they should wear their clothes?

 

Siplin faced objections from the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, both of whom contended that the law violates personal freedom and unfairly targets minority students. Siplin isn’t the only lawmaker taking freedom of dress into his own hands, however. In March, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill that bans students from wearing clothing that exposes their “underwear or buttocks” as well. It was said that he felt the bill could improve learning environments in school and school boards are now forced to look at existing school dress code policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.

 

Florida and Arkansas may be the only two states with widespread prohibition against saggy pants for students, but some states have taken sagging pants to the extreme by making them illegal for even adults to wear in public.

 

In Delcambre, Louisiana, the style popularized in the early 1990s by hip-hop artists has been against the law since 2007 and if you’re caught with your pants hanging low you could face a fine as much as $500 or up to six months in jail.

 

In Dublin, Georgia, don’t expect to wear pants or skirts more than “three inches below the top of your hips exposing your skin or undergarments” unless you want to pay close to $200.

 

Are parents not advising their children enough on how to dress or are officials taking the definition of the fashion police to a new level?

 

Let us know your thoughts.

 

To contact or share story ideas with Danielle Wright, follow and tweet her at @DaniWrightTV.

 

 

(Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT) 

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