Two high school students were jailed and charged with “indecent exposure” for wearing saggy pants to school.
Antonio Ammons, 18, and another student of Bolivar Central High in Tennessee spent 48 hours in jail after being arrested by a school resource officer for their “below the hip” jeans.
In a report made by Hardeman County Deputy and arresting officer Charles Woods, it was said that Ammons “had to be prompted all day, every day not to sagg [sic] his pants. Antonio walks around all day every day disrespecting the rules of the school, the principal, the teachers, other students and even the SRO.”
The officer also claimed Ammons wasn’t very cooperative and had an “attitude” when asked repeatedly to pull up his pants.
However, other than being defiant and rebellious (as most teens are!) what did these kids really do to deserve two days behind bars?
Keep in mind, this was Ammons very first introduction to the slammer.
“I think it’s just a little harsh. They didn't need to go to that extreme,” student Cheyenne Lindsey reportedly told WMC Action News 5.
What ever happened to involving parents or guardians when kids misbehave?
Another odd detail about this scenario is that four students were charged with indecent exposure for sagging but only Ammons and one other student were taken into custody.
It’s still very unclear why the students were criminalized for violating school policy. Normally, when students don't follow school rules they get detention or suspension, not jail.
This sets a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly disproportionately affect black males.
In addition to the fear of being targeted and gunned down for wearing a hoodie like in the case of Trayvon Martin or simply just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time or giving attitude to the wrong cop, men of color now have to face being criminalized and placed in jail for the way they choose to wear their pants.
Why not spend more time making men and boys of color feel valued and respected and making them actually believe they can be someone important in life as opposed to damning them for immature decisions and condemning them to a life behind bars before they’ve ever even committed a real crime.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Keith Allison