Thursday, February 11, 2010

Please God, make it stop

I remember the whole sagging pants atrocity taking hold around 1994 or so. Much to my chagrin, it was still going strong when I began teaching full-time around 2002. At that time, the male students who sagged were wearing these Barnum and Bailey-esque baggy clown jeans that were 5 sizes too large, yet they still sagged. A year or two ago, the jeans began getting skinnier, but they still sag.

Last year, I did notice that the whole sagging thing was showing signs of dying on the vine. I began seeing students who used to sag that were not doing it so much anymore. I began to hope against hope that this fashion catastrophe's days might be numbered. It turns out that I was premature in my wishful thinking.

This year, it was as if the former saggers suddenly realized the same thing I was seeing, and decided to double down on their efforts to keep the sagging atrocity alive. I have noticed this school year that sagging came back with a vengeance, even with their skinny jeans, which have a lot less room with which to sag.

I hate the sagging trend of course, but as long as the boys' shirts extend past the top of their pants, I tolerate it. I have one 8th grade student, however, who insists on walking in to my classroom every day with his boxers or athletic shorts exposed. It soon turned into a daily dance: I would tell this numbskull to pull up his pants; he would give his pants an apathetic tug that didn't change a damn thing; I would tell him again to pull up his pants; he would pull them to within what I could tolerate, but the pants were so loose, that by the middle of the period, his undergarments would be showing again. I would then tell him to pull his pants up again. And so it went.

Finally, this week, I couldn't take it anymore. This past Tuesday, I sent the following email to the student's mother:

I am writing to you to inform you that I had to send Numbskull to the office today due to his constantly sagging pants. It has become a daily dance between Numbskull and myself concerning the fact that he comes in every day with his pants sagging so low, I really cannot figure out how he keeps them from falling to his ankles. I have grown tired of being subjected to the sight of Numbskull’s undergarments, especially after so many prior warnings. The problem also is that not only do I have to warn him about his pants on a daily basis when he walks into the classroom, I then have to give him repeated warnings throughout the class period, as he usually never pulls them all the way up, or even if he actually does, he wears the pants so loosely that in no time, they are sagging right back where they were.

Numbskull has received more than enough warning from me about his pants, to no avail. From here on out, I will be sending him to the office every day he walks into my classroom with his pants sagging so that the office can give him a belt or rope to help him hold his pants up.

Thank you,

Mr. Chanman
Social Studies Teacher
Wannabe Ghetto Middle School
I haven't received an answer back from the mother, but having cc'd the email to my principal, she replied back to me, telling me, in part:
...please DO send him and others to the front office. Coincidentally, we discussed this matter at this morning's School Climate Committee since it was a topic that was brought to us by your colleagues. We have decided to take a hard stance on the matter. We will be asking students to leave their pants with us after changing into their P.E. shorts or sweatpants. We've discovered that many of the students are already wearing gym shorts underneath their sagging oversized or undersized skinny jeans....
Again, I sent this email on Tuesday, I was out yesterday (my son had a fever), and I was back today (Thursday). Fourth period rolled around today, and guess who walked in with his pants sagging below his butt cheeks, and his undergarments exposed for the world to see? He wasn't even halfway through the doorway when I told him to turn around and go to the office to get his pants fixed. He began to argue with me, but I told him I didn't even want to hear it; just go to the office. I called the office to let them know he was on his way and why.

About twenty minutes later, he returned to my classroom wearing his P.E. shorts, just as my principal had ordered. One problem: he was sagging his P.E. shorts.

With so little time left to deal with the issue, I simply told him to pull up his shorts and have a seat. I kept him after class and informed him that this daily ritual of removing him from my classroom for sagging would continue until he stopped doing it. In addition to telling him that he was exhibiting defiance toward me by continuing to sag and expose his undergarments, I even stooped to pulling out a play from the PC handbook and informed him that what he was doing was borderline sexual harrassment, directed both toward me and the female students in the room.

It will be amusing to see how he wears his pants tomorrow, and I wonder if I will ever receive a reply from his mother?

Good Day to You, Sir


Mrs. Bluebird said...

We've had this problem for years until my principal laid down the law and started suspending kids who sagged. We had some irate parents for a while there (some of whom sagged themselves), but it did put an end to the problem.

Anonymous said...

Or just tell your saggy students that wearing their pants low started in prison because inmates weren't allowed to have belts and then extreme sagging became prison shorthand for being gay and available.

Darren said...

Anonymous, I've heard that's an urban legend.

Chanman, I read on Yahoo News today that an American Olympic snowboarder is complaining that snowboarders are now wearing clothing that's too tight, thereby selling out the sport's "in your face, establishment" foundings.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Have you heard from the mom?

Chanman said...

Of course not. It's just as well; I can't stand watching her enable him in every way possible. She even turns in his homework for him sometimes.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Somehow I'm not surprised. Disappointed but not surprised.

Anonymous said...

As a female middle school teacher, I've seen more than I ever wanted from boys with pants almost to their knees. I stopped the problem in my classroom by bringing in a HUGE stretchy pink belt(from the 80's) and bright green suspenders. If mr. baggyass wanted to stay in my room, he had to pull up his pants with the belt or suspenders. I became the teacher will all the boys lined up outside, pulling up their pants before class!

Darren said...

To this day I don't understand why some guys want to show off their underwear.

Anonymous said...

What should be done is that he be paddled in school, "as he is dressed" so after he would be made to assume the position for the paddle, the paddle would be applied to the boxers instead of the jeans. That was done at one of the local schools, more less in front of the class...that young man and his friends never sagged again