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FL Saggy Pants Ban: Lawmaker Hands Out 200 Belts

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on September 02, 2011 6:47 AM

As the second state to prohibit the underwear-baring style, Florida's saggy pants ban went into effect this past week as students headed back for the 2011-12 school year.

To commemorate the new law, State Senator Gary Siplin of Orlando visited a number of local high schools, handing out hundreds of belts to students showing it all.

He's been pushing for a state-wide saggy pants ban for the past six years.

Attitudes towards saggy pants may explain why Siplin was finally able to succeed, as there appears to be a trend of such bans across the southern United States.

A number of cities have criminalized the style, with school districts getting in on the action as well.

Though Siplin first sought criminal sanctions, the Florida saggy pants ban imposes punishments typical of school dress code violations.

The harshest punishment, saved for repeat offenders, is 3 days of in-school suspension and a 30 day extracurricular suspension, reports Reuters.

And lest you think the ban is directed only at men, the new rules apply to female students exposing their stomachs.

Even though some will appreciate the new dress code, the American Civil Liberties Union and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People believe the new rules target minority students.

Though they have yet to announce any plan to sue, it would be very difficult to challenge the Florida saggy pants ban. States have historically been given significant discretion in the area of school clothing, particularly when a restriction applies to all students.

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