Arkansas College Accused Of Racism For Trying To Ban Saggy Pants

| by Brendan Kelly

Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, is facing accusations of racism after attempting to crack down on people wearing saggy pants on campus.

The college has not officially banned saggy pants in its dress code, as the school has no official dress code, but signs warning that saggy pants will not be tolerated have gone up around campus and in the student center, the Daily Caller reported.

A spokeswoman for the college, Tonya Smith, said that the signs, which also warn against profanity and rude behavior, were intended to discourage disruptive behavior on campus.

“Our faculty in particular had experienced an increase in inappropriate classroom behaviors that were disturbing the learning environment,” Smith told Inside Higher Ed.

Some students have complained that the signs seem like an attempt to suppress black culture.

"It's politically insensitive to certain groups," said student Kristin Bell to local KATV News. "They felt like they were being targeted."

The school took down the signs but ask that students still follow the rules laid out. They insist that the signs don't have any racial implications.

Students, including Bell, said that the incident exposed the college's need to hire an official diversity officer so that racially insensitive actions can be avoided in the future.

Outside of the racism accusations, some say that the action may actually be illegal and would likely prove unconstitutional if challenged.

This is not the first time a city has tried to ban saggy pants.

Ocala, Florida, passed a ban on saggy pants last year, which was ultimately repealed when the NAACP threatened legal action because they saw the ban as an attack on young black men. The state of Arkansas also banned saggy pants in all elementary and secondary schools in 2011.

Sources: Daily Caller, The College Fix

Photo Credit: Daily Caller, The College Fix