Local News

Scotland County town wants people to pull their pants up

Posted November 9, 2010

— This town in Scotland County has 260 residents in 0.2 square mile, and town leaders want youth fashion on local streets to fit as snugly.

"I never thought I would see the day when people could walk around in public with their buttocks hanging out and think it was OK," Mayor Harry Pittman said in a statement last month.

Pittman is backing a proposed local ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor offense to wear pants or skirts 3 inches below the waistline.

"That's going to be a silly ticket, something to get charged with," local resident Charles Desmond said. "I think the court is just trying to find other ways of getting tickets, to get money."

Local resident John Patterson said he likes the idea of banning saggy pants from East Laurinburg.

"It should be against the law because it's indecent exposure," Patterson said.

Town commissioners said the town attorney has advised them not to discuss the issue outside of a meeting, noting the American Civil Liberties Union is already challenging the proposed ordinance.

Saggy pants Town wants to ban saggy pants

Sarah Preston, policy director for the ACLU in North Carolina, called the saggy pants ban a violation of people's First Amendment rights. Clothing is a way for people to express themselves, she said.

Harry Patel, who owns the Community Mart convenience store in East Laurinburg, said he wonders what people with saggy pants are trying to express.

"What does that mean? What are you trying to tell other people, really?" Patel asked.

Preston said the ordinance also is too "vague and impractical" to enforce, noting Scotland County deputies who patrol East Laurinburg would have no way of knowing how low is too low on someone's pants.

Pittman has said the proposal is simply an extension of existing indecent exposure laws, and he plans to revisit the issue next month.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • rc4nc Nov 11, 2010

    Belts are sometimes banned in prison and especially to those on death watch. That's my understanding of the origination of the fad of going without belts. The folks outside of prison are emulating their buddies in prison.

  • freetospeak Nov 10, 2010

    I've never really understood the saggy pants and what it stands for....maybe that you're sloppy and don't care about your appearance...maybe you're hiding something in your pants....maybe you don't have enough b*tt to hold them up :).

  • crckttsgr Nov 10, 2010

    "This willnever become a LAW AND WE THE INDIVIDUALS WILL HAVE THE LAST SAY IN THIS MATTER. With the ACLU at our backs we will win."

    Individual? Really? Everyone is doing it, how "individual" can it be? I have to admit though, I do get a lot of laughs out of it, watching some of these guys. Especially when they try to run and they have to grab their pants to hold them up. ROFL It's great, really. Some of the best times I've ever had is people watching in downtown Raleigh, as the "oh sooooo cooolll" boys, yes boys, walk by. What a joke.

  • eric52272 Nov 10, 2010

    im surprised that this town is not viewed as racist

  • mixedcheerboi Nov 10, 2010

    I think this town needs to direct their attention into helping the community get out of such a financial bind. As opposed to worrying about what the local ethnic group is wearing. Its like the old saying, "you don't have to look at it". Then if the urban community can't express themselves in their clothing, then how can those who wear camoflauge and hunting gear everyday get away, because again as an outsider, all it says is Redneck and quite possibly racist. Expression is expression. As long as no body is walking around in the nude, then clothing choices should not be an issue, AGAIN..Lets get the economy together and the employment rate up and in better standing.

  • mixedcheerboi Nov 10, 2010

    I am not surprised by this at all. Its sad to say that this town has the highest unemployment rate in the state. But they cant make people pay funds they dont have. Yes sagging looks bad and regardless of anything it has a history with sex in prison, but you can't sit there and tell someone to pull up their pants or your going to jail. Its their choice of expression. Now it you think its inappropriate you dont have to higher them. But, from the outside looking in, it looks like a community of well off white Americans are looking to the community of minorities, where everyone knows that East Laurinburg,is in some forms considered urban, to change their appearances. This thus strikes the questions, If this passes, Are they going to arrest those St. Andrew Students who sag, because most student athletes do it? Are they doing to stop a group of young kids who are minding their own business and doing work to arrest them for sagging a little?

  • Pseudonym Nov 10, 2010

    Leave it to geosol and other left-leaning lemmings to try and intorduce politics into ANY story.

  • Pseudonym Nov 10, 2010


    Dang it, you beat me to it:

    "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground"

  • abbey Nov 10, 2010

    People are "walking around in public with their buttocks hanging out" and the sun still rises?? Wonderful platform Mr. 'Mayor'- good to see your priorties are in order.

  • ranquick Nov 10, 2010

    Schools have a dress code to prevent this. I saw a Sign the other day on the door of a store and it Said NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO BAGGY PANTS, NO SERVICE, more business put this up and you do away with this issue.