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Georgia town bans sagging pants

POSTED: October 26, 2007 5:00 a.m.

 

HAWKINSVILLE -- The Hawkinsville Board of Commissioners has unanimously passed a ban on baggy pants in this central Georgia town.

The ban comes as similar bans are debated in Atlanta and other cities around the country.

Hawkinsville's new indecent exposure, which was passed last week, makes it illegal for anyone "to appear in any public place or in view of the public wearing pants or shorts below the waist, which expose the skin or undergarments."

Violating the ban can bring fines and community service.

"I think it's a disgrace to walk around with your pants like that. You know, with your underwear and all that," Commissioner James A. Colson said. "There's no sense in wearing pants if you're just going to show your underwear."

Hawkinsville, a town of about 4,000 people, is 114 miles south of Atlanta.

Colson, a Pulaski County Elementary School assistant principal, gives children there a rope to hold up their sagging pants. He said he initially brought the idea before the commission about five years ago but was told at the time that nothing could be done.

Recent news reports about other cities passing such a law prompted him to bring it up again, Colson said. The ordinance got its first reading at a September commission meeting. The second reading and vote happened Oct. 1.

"Everyone was pretty much in agreement that something should be done as far as passing the ordinance," Hawkinsville City Manager Jerry Murkerson said.

Murkerson said the city had been getting complaints from residents about baggy pants.

"It just didn't look good," he said.

A proposed baggy pants ban in Atlanta has inspired concerns it would lead to racial profiling because it targets a style popular among black teenagers.

But Colson disagreed.

"I wouldn't say it's racial profiling," he said. "I see quite a few white boys have their pants like that, too."

 

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com

 

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