Should a momentary fashion misstep be a blight on a kid's permanent record? In Florida, a new law could demand a tightening of belts in schools. The state's new 'droopy drawers' bill is intent on banning the any baggy jeans or ill-fitting pants in elementary, middle and high schools statewide. Citing indecent expose, any clothing items considered "vulgar" or too revealing by school officials would be grounds for suspension. The Florida law is loose enough (excuse the pun) that teachers could target any item of clothing that reveals a little much skin, even accidentally over-sized hand-me downs.
Isn't high school hard enough as it is? Baggy pants have been the target of principals ever since they started trending with teens in the '90s. Even politicians and local safety watchdogs have turned fashion police. Last year a New York State senator launched a billboard campaign called "Stop the Sag" hoping to curb the look on men regardless of age. And in Flint, Michigan, showing your Calvins could literally get you arrested, thanks to a police chief's ban area-wide in 2008.
But baggy jeans aren't the only culprits. In Scranton, the school board voted to eliminate skinny jeans and any item of clothing that's a size too small for its wearer. This brings into question growth spurts and even financial woes that limit parents from updating their kids' wardrobe on a regular basis. And what about an elastically challenged pair of jeggings? In Florida, the state grants schools the right to enforce uniforms should they choose to, even if parents aren't in favor. In one Florida district, 500 parents sued the school board of mandated uniforms and lost.
On one hand, a little decorum in the classroom keeps kids attentive to their coursework. But are baggy jeans really the reason kids aren't paying attention in school? Or is all this controversy over what kids wear a distraction in its own right?