Sagging pants could draw fine, require counseling

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Mississippi House

Rep. Tom Weathersby, R-Florence

Sagging, a popular youth fashion, could be a crime under legislation proposed in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Rep. Tom Weathersby, R-Florence, introduced the bill that would make it unlawful to wear pants or shorts in a way that “exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.”

Several local governments, around the country and in Mississippi, have proposed or implemented anti-sagging ordinances. The city of Jackson, Hinds County and city of Gautier have all proposed such laws in recent years, but none have been successful.

Weathersby’s bill would impose a verbal warning on the first offense. The third offense would draw a fine of $20. By the sixth offense, violators would have to pay a $100 fine and undergo psychological and social counseling by state departments of human services and mental health.

Weathersby said he filed the bill at the request of a constituent who encountered a group of young men whom the constituent believes wore their pants too low. When the constituent asked the men to pull up their pants, they became belligerent, Weathersby said.

“Personally, I like to see people dressed when they’re in public and I like to see people with their pants up,” Weathersby told Mississippi Today.