Commissioner Corey Johnson says he hopes schools and other businesses will want to form a partnership against sagging pants. (WRDW-TV / Feb. 22, 2012)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- You don't have to go far around town to find what some call a fashion trend.
"I just shake my head," said Carole Collins of Augusta. "Just pull your pants up. That is trifling."
Collins is raising young boys of her own and says she sick and tired of seeing underwear in public.
"Well don't look," said self-declared local sagger R.J. Henley.
Henley says sagging is a personal expression.
"If I want to sag my pants, I'm going to sag them," Henley said.
The city now has a response.
"You heard it first here on News 12," declared Commissioner Corey Johnson.
Johnson first pushed a failed attempt to cite saggers for indecent exposure back in 2009. He now has a different plan.
"It won't be an ordinance," Johnson said. "But it will be an initiative that we are putting forth to help inspire young people to do better."
Augusta's Paine College already has a no-sagging policy.
"Sagging pants do not portray the image of a leader," said Tina Marshall Bradley with Paine College. "I say thank you to the city for looking at and helping to develop young people. Paine College joins you in this idea of educating and developing our youth."
Johnson will turn to institutions like Paine to help provide incentives for young students.
"If they do what's right," Johnson said. "They get a job. They get opportunities."
Collins says she is hopeful the initiative will work and even Henley is on board.
"If I get a job and they say pull it up, put your belt on, put your shirt in," Henley said. "Then it is over. I'll do it."
Johnson says he plans to present the idea to the Augusta Commission in the coming weeks. He says he simply needs to hear from local groups and businesses interested in joining the partnership.