Pants on the ground? Pants on the ground? You lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground! Better pull ’em up ... if you’re in Terrebonne, Louisiana.
Passed last week and expected to be signed into law, the town's ban targets the public wearing of pants - and, oddly, skirts - that hang “below the waist.”
If they “expose the skin or undergarments,” violators will be punished as such:
- $50 for the first offense.
- $100 for the second offense.
- $100 plus 16 hours of community service for each subsequent offense.
“Hopefully, it’ll get these young men to pull up their pants,” Terreborne council member Russell Hornsby told Yahoo! Shine of the saggy pants ban.
Hornsby’s colleague John Navy proposed the ordinance after many constituents had called upon the council to do something about the pants problem.
The ban was approved at an April 10 Parish council meeting by a vote of 8-1 and is expected to be signed into law by council president Michel Claudet.
Navy, though, said he did not know why the new law specified “below the waist,” and seemed confused by that wording when asked about it.
“My understanding was that it was below the butt. I need to look at that again,” he said. “If it’s below your butt and underwear is showing, that’s not proper.”
The only council member opposed? Beryl Amedee, who said, “I’m absolutely not a fan of this style. However, I don’t think the government should legislate style.”
But, Hornsby added, “The problem is our young men are emulating prisoners. It sends a sign that you’re available for sex. It’s a bad example to set.”
The idea that low-slung pants in prison signal some sort of sexual come-on is one long-held, widely disputed belief about the style’s origins.
Another theory is that folks who let their pants sag below the undies are emulating prisoners who have their belts taken away (for fears of suicide) in lockup.
Whatever the inspiration, Terrebonne is making headlines for its law banning them - even as the ACLU says that such laws violate the constitution.
Saggy pants law: Right or wrong?