01 Sep Pants on the Ground No More in Florida Schools
It might be considered cool by some but in Florida schools this fall season it won’t be tolerated! Gary Siplin, Orlando’s Democratic State Senator, is using the free belts to remind students of the Pull Up Your Pants law he finally passed last spring after six years of pushing for it. As of now, only Florida and Arkansas have enacted comprehensive banishment of saggy pants in statewide dress codes.
Senator Siplin has gotten flack for his law from the ACLU and the NAACP — they argue that the law unfairly targets minority students. Siplin has a valid point, though, that crosses all racial boundaries:
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 … The parents, the grandmothers, the professional people, they say, “How can they walk down the street showing their behinds?” It’s not civilized. I’m not going to hire anyone, white or black, with saggy pants, I want to make sure our kids qualify.
There’s a fine line between the right of self-expression, indecency laws, and a ban on saggy pants. It’s not a clear-cut issue, but I do think that Senator Siplin has the good of the students at heart, and I can’t really fault an official for that.
I am a strong supporter of school being a safe and comfortable place to learn but I am a little wary of government controlling how our kids dress!