BOLIVAR, Tenn. – Two Tennessee high school seniors spent the weekend in jail for indecent exposure after they were repeatedly warned about their saggy drawers at school.
News Channel 3 reports a school resource officer at Bolivar Central High School reprimanded two seniors several times for allegedly violating the district’s student dress code prohibiting “slow slung, baggy seat, baggy legged or bell bottom pants.”
“The sentence stemmed from an incident in early November where four students were charged with indecent exposure,” according to the news site.
Neither school nor sheriff’s officials would discuss how the dress code violation evolved into a criminal matter. One of the two other students initially charged was required to pay a fine, the other’s case was dismissed.
Local resident Willie Hoyle said he believes older students should set an example for their younger peers “because the environment is already bad.
“And it ain’t getting any better if the older kids don’t try to show the younger kids anything,” he said.
Others, like Sharon Till, think the punishment is overkill.
“Maybe we have them do some community service, pick up some trash, help at the dog kennels, things like that,” she told News Channel 3. “I think putting them in jail is just a little bit much.”
“You do got to be presentable in school,” an unidentified man said. “But doing 48 hours! Ain’t nobody doing that.”
A different gentleman said students should follow the rules in school, and loosen their belts after school.
“Kids, keep you pants up at school,” he said. “But if you’re out here and you buy your own clothes, then you wear them the way you want to wear them.”
The Daily Caller pointed out that Bolivar Central High School is only one of several schools fighting an epidemic of students sagging their drawers.
“At Henderson State University, a public collage in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, school officials put up signs on campus this fall warning that saggy pants, along with profanity or rude behavior, would not be tolerated,” the news site reports.
“Critics characterized the signs as racist.”
Reactions to the criminal charges at Bolivar Central were mixed online.
“So they get a record and unnecessary time in jail for breaking a school policy.” Marquita Dunn wrote.
“They knew the rules, now some want to say the punishment was too harsh,” Tim Smith countered. “Where and when will y’all stop giving these kids a pass? When they have a gun in your face maybe?”
“Well maybe they will learn to follow the dress code,” Amanda Vincent posted.
The best thing to do would be to have them walk up and down Main Street for a day wearing just pink frilly underwear, since they wanted everyone to see their behinds,” Matthew Maples wrote. “Public humiliation has always been an effective means of punishment for minor offenses. And with it being teenagers, it’d be double effective.”