Legislators to Vote on "Baggy Pants" Bill

By: Jennifer Milton; The News Service of Florida Email
By: Jennifer Milton; The News Service of Florida Email

Students in Florida schools may soon find it's not just their parents saying no to revealing clothing in the classroom. If Senator Gary Siplin (D) gets his wish, it will be against the law for students in pre-K through 12th grade to wear clothing that shows their undergarments.

"We teach them how to do arithmetic, reading and math, so I thought why not also teach them how to dress," said Siplin.

Commonly known as the "baggy pants bill," Senate bill 228 will require district school boards to adopt a stricter dress code and punish students who violate it. Boys may have to say goodbye to saggy pants, while girls may have to opt out of wearing low-rise jeans.

"For girls, especially with your underwear showing, that's really trashy and it could send the wrong message and that could be very dangerous," said Kaloma Smith.

But some believe the government should spend more time on things like fixing the economy and creating jobs, and spend less time on fashion trends.

"I think it's kind of very low on my list of things that should be taken care of as far as government issues," said Andrew Khaleghipour.

Senator Siplin says he continues to push the idea because he believes teaching students good habits at a young age will ultimately help them become mature, responsible adults in the future.

Penalties for violating the dress code range from students being excluded from extra curricular activities to in-school suspension for up to three days.

The Senate has passed the bill several times, but it has yet to be cleared by the house of representatives.

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The News Service of Florida:

Students showing bra straps or underwear, beware. Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, wants you to cover up. The Senate Prek-12 Education Committee passed Siplin’s “Code of Student Conduct” legislation Monday, which requires district school boards to adopt a dress code that prohibits students from exposing their undergarments. A first time violation of those rules would result in the offending student being excluded from extra curricular activities. For a second offense, the student would again be excluded from activities and the principal would have to meet with a parent or guardian. A third offense would result in in-school suspension for up to three days and exclusion from activities for up to 30 days. Siplin said students who dress inappropriately are adding a distraction to the classroom setting. He also said it was incumbent on adults in authority to teach students more than reading and writing. Behavior and dress are important too, he said. “When you come to an interview with your pants sagging or your underwear showing, you may get an interview, but as soon as you leave, your application is going to get tossed in the garbage,” he said. The bill passed 3-0 and will now head to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


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