"Your Swag Is as Low as Your Sag"

High school students encourage peers to pull up their pants

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010  |  Updated 3:16 PM EDT
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"Your Swag Is as Low as Your Sag"

J.R.2007/Flickr

It's a saggin' state of affairs.

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For the senior class president at Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Va., the saggy pants look has gone too far -- or low. Some students sag their pants so low you can see their entire boxers or briefs when they bend over to pick up things.

So one day, senior class President Rasheed Parker said he'd had enough. He went to his principal to start an "anti-sagging" campaign. The idea wasn't to ostracize the students who sag, but educate them on the negative impacts that come with the look.

"You can't sag your pants in the real world," Parker told the Daily Press. "It screams unprofessional. It looks like you don't have purpose."

So during the month of March, the school is making morning announcements about the history of saggy pants, selling T-shirts that read "Your Swag is as Low as Your Sag," and encouraging discussion.

In 2005, State Delegate Algie Howell (D-Norfolk) actually proposed legislation to fine individuals who sagged their pants in a "lewd or indecent manner." Showing off your underoos would cost you $50. That measure passed in the House but failed when it reached the State Senate.

Howell stopped by Kecoughtan High to commend the students for their efforts. He told the Daily Press that he's invited 25 students to appear before state legislators in April.

A number of sources said the origins of saggy pants actually date back to the days of slavery. Slaves were not allowed to wear belts, making it harder for them to run away.

"Who would want to be a slave in this day or time?" Howell said to the Daily Press.

The school's principal also has agreed to play the song "Pants on the Ground," to wrap up the campaign next Tuesday. In case you've been living under a rock, 62-year-old Larry Platt sang that original for his American Idol audition and it became a viral sensation.

The campaign is working, teachers said. They're noticing students stopping each other in the hallways and telling them to pull up their pants. Though not all the students are into it.

"In schools you don't have to be professional ... in job interviews it's unprofessional, or a teacher wearing it would be. It depends on the scenario," one student told the Daily Press.

Parker, a former pant-sagger himself pointed out that everyone has to grow up sometime. "At some point you stop wearing light-up Skechers ... at some point you pull up your pants."

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