Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Sam, you made the pants too low

Baggy Pants

A Florida legislator's attempt to ban the wearing of baggy pants in school will be the stuff of late-night comedy monologues, especially language in his bill outlawing the exposure of "body parts." (Lucky he isn't in France.)

But the baggy-pants controversy also is the stuff of a law school exam.

In 1969, the Supreme Court upheld the right of schoolchildren to wear black armbands in school as a protest against the war in Vietnam. Does that decision provide an opening for the baggy-pants brigade? First you'd have to come up with a message that is supposedly being communicated by this low-riding. Urban alienation? A critique of mainstream culture?

Another question on the test would be whether the low-riders could make an equal-protection case. Indeed, the ACLU is already on the case, noting that a disproportionate number of kids wearing their pants low are minorities. (The sponsor of the bill, who is black, insists that "white kids do it" too.)

Finally, there is the question of religious freedom. Don't the pants reflect a value system? Is the school discriminating against low-riders but embracing the gospel of conformity symbolized by a dress shirt and khaki pants raised up high enough to conceal underwear.

Write a brief supporting the kids who wear their pants low. You have 90 minutes.

RELATED:

Florida close to passing 'baggy pants' bill

-- Michael McGough

Photo: Students wearing baggy clothing at Granada Hills High School. Credit: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times / September 11, 2002

 

Comments () | Archives (8)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lou Ferre

No support here. Just have uniforms. Low-income can have subsidies and/or older uniforms in good conditions can be handed down.

It's a money saver for parents too, because it's cheaper than brand-name clothes that kids love to use as status symbols.

Charles

"A critique of mainstream culture?" Is that a sentence?

Fed Up

Baggy pants equal prison look

Ironman Carmichael

Actually, the sagging pants (fashion statement: spank me) trend seems to be on the way out anyway; you see less and less of it these days.

Like all fads, the wisest thing is to let it run its course, then it's gone. Making a fuss about it only keeps it around longer.

Greg Maragos

It is a safe bet that Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor will all find a constitutionally-guaranteed right to baggy pants in public schools.

Time to put Kennedy on speed-dial.

hf2hvit

Nothing like the party that wants to get the government off people's backs...Hey GOP how about we all wear the BROWN SHIRTS?

David Baeza

I feel this is a direct message to try to control behavior. There is no rule against children who wear "high-water" hand me down pants. Or a rule against tight pants that allow you to see a boy's genitals. This is clearly an attack on the free choice of minority children and those who attempt to copy "the way they roll". They are expressing their individuality, just like long haired kids in the 60's. It's unfortunate they are copying a prison look, but what does that say about our culture when vilan's are imitated.

corn

Immediately the victim class wants to put this in as a race issue. It is ugly, It comes from prisons. It is rude. It is to an extent indecent.

Argue for food, Argue for jobs, Argue for a good education, Argue for equality...but pull your pants up. Have some self respect. Think and act like a winner, demand respect by you manner, your presentation and how you interact with the world.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...