Full enforcement planned on 'saggy pants' ban

Since a new policy banning "saggy pants" at extracurricular Richmond County school events went into effect more than a month ago, officials say they've issued only warnings.

In about another month, though, safety officers say, they will begin full enforcement of the policy, including removing people who won't comply.

"Right now we're into the information and warning phase," said school safety Lt. Richard Roundtree. "I would say probably toward the end of January of next year that would be enough time."

Lt. Roundtree said a football game is the largest sporting event affected by the policy, but that season is over. Still, he said, some high school basketball games will continue into February.

School board members approved the new policy by a 9-1 vote on Nov. 17. It bans spectators from after-school events if their pants sag so low their underwear is exposed. Signs are to be posted soon informing spectators of the policy.

It also requires that pants, including jeans, be fitted at the waist and not be baggy or oversized or exposing underwear. 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.

The policy is to be enforced by school officials, administrators, teachers and other school employees on duty at the events.

Lt. Roundtree said there haven't been any major violations so far. He said his office isn't just focusing on saggy pants, though.

He said the policy also bans provocative clothing, such as female "tops that expose too much."

"We're trying to be across the board," he said.

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

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