…or are they? Apparently, not anymore! At least, they won’t be in the sunny state of Florida between 8 AM and 3 PM. State Senator Gary Siplin won approval on April 14th, 2010 from the Senate committee for his bill that requires school districts to adopt a new “revolutionary” dress code. The text of the bill describes the Senator’s intention to ban students from wearing clothing that “exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.” Failure to adhere to this law the first time would result in a verbal warning and a phone call from the principal to the parent. After the second offense, the student is banned from participating in extra-curricular activities or sports. However, after the third offense, things start getting a little more serious – the student would be given a three-day in-school suspension and up to 30-day ban on extra-curricular events. All of this – just over pants.
Some of you may be wondering if such extreme measures are needed. According to Siplin, “it hurts their ability to get jobs and is generally offensive to decent fashion sense,” as he was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel. He wishes to clean up the society and wants kids to “play by society’s standards and rules.”
Personally, I believe that such a law is possibly one of the most ridiculous things in existence. When I heard about the issue, I could not stop laughing, nor could any of the other people that I told. People are not going to change if they have to pull up their pants for only 6 hours every day; they will just pull them back down at 3 o’clock.
Additionally, low pants also serve as a very effective crime fighting technique. Last year, in North Babylon, NY, Robert Pittman tried to rob a convenience store. As he was running out, he tripped on his low-pants and was arrested. If such legislation is passed in New York, our crime rate can potentially skyrocket.
Edgemont students also almost unanimously agree that it is a ridiculous idea for a law. However, some believe that it may not be so bad, as long as it is not in the hands of the government. Junior Michael Meyerson remarked, “I don’t think it should be illegal to sag your pants, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a few less buttcracks. That’d be cool.”
Some others just see this as an absolute waste of time. In the midst of one of the worst recessions in history, legislators are wasting their time discussing laws about pants. Junior Saaket Mehta agrees, and says, “With the many cracks that are in America today, Florida seems to be focusing on the least important one. Pun definitely intended.” The Florida State Senate needs to learn what their priorities are. Rather than focusing on kids and their pants, “they should focus on improving education within the schools,” according to Junior Sara Eiferman. Florida is also struggling in its economy because almost a million jobs have been lost. Siplin should focus on more pressing issues like those.
However, at the same time, Eiferman comments on the unfair nature of the dress code system. She believes that “as ridiculous as it sounds, its nice to see guys getting dress codes because girls always have them; I know if a girl ever had her underwear hanging out, it would be a huge controversy.” Eiferman just thinks that this is a matter for school districts, not state senates.
Sophomore Anik Chaudhry knows that this bill will be utterly ineffective in raising the morals of society because “kids will continue to wear the pants low after school.” He also takes on a more Constitutional stance and believes that it impedes upon the individual’s right to express him or herself in any way that he or she wants.
On the other end, Junior Marshall Donner is concerned about the many Edgemont grandparents living in Florida. While he does believe that people should be able to wear their pants as low as they want, as long as they are covered up, he does see how “Florida’s growing old population could find people whose pants are low offensive.”
In any case, it is still not the place of the government to tell America’s youth how to wear their pants. Let kids decide for themselves.
*This was an article I had written for my school newspaper a few months ago – I still find it hilarious =D