Board approves 'saggy pants' ban

Richmond County school board members tightened the belt Tuesday night on those who have been wearing "saggy pants" to football games and other after-school events.

By a 9-1 vote, the board gave final approval to a policy banning spectators from attending such events if their pants sag so low their underwear is exposed. The dissenting vote was cast by Venus Cain, who had offered a substitute motion.

Under her motion, the policy would not mention "baggy pants" but only state that no underwear could be visible or provocative clothing could be worn.

Ultimately, the board approved a policy that says all pants, including jeans, must be fitted at the waist and not be baggy or oversized or exposing underwear.

The policy will be enforced by school officials, administrators, teachers and other school employees on duty.

The idea was presented by board Vice President Alex Howard, who said he had seen students with sagging pants that exposed underwear at football games.

Board member Frank Dolan said he felt the new policy would send a message.

"They are in our house," he said. "We don't need to let our standards be pulled down by the local trends. Where does it stop?"

The board also unanimously approved a policy focused on bookbags and security searches at after-school events. The policy forbids bookbags at school-sponsored sporting events unless allowed by the principal or a designee. An exception will be made for students who must attend events immediately after school.

The measure says purses, handbags and pouches would be allowed but could be subject to a hand-held metal detector scan or inspection.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

IN OTHER ACTION

- The board heard that a policy is still being drafted concerning a ban on minifridges and other personal appliances in schools and board offices. The system has targeted the appliances in an effort to save on energy costs. The policy might offer a provision allowing workers to pay a fee to keep their appliance, members were told.

- Patsy Scott, the wife of District 5 school trustee Joe Scott, who died in July, was sworn in to take over her husband's seat and attended her first official meeting.

- Beverly Franqui, a Blythe Elementary teacher, was presented a $500 check and matching donation to the school system as part of a sweepstakes through Horace Mann Insurance Co.

 

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