Principal looks to a fictional character to solve saggy pants problem
8:47 AM, Dec 7, 2010
2:57 PM, Dec 7, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Westside Middle school principal Bobby White had a problem to
solve: saggy pants in his hallways. Students wore their pants
low-slung, like the people they’d see in rap videos.
That was, until the “urkeling” started.
After a staff member suggested White fight pop culture with pop
culture, he began the new policy inspired by one of the
1990’s most famous sitcom characters, Steve Urkel. His style
of dress is now a verb in the halls of Westside.
Staff members walk the halls with zip ties, and if they see
saggy pants they get to work. The process is simple: pull up the
students pants, possibly as high as chest-level, pinch the sides
together to take out any slack in the waistband, and lock it in
place with a zip tie.
There’s even an Urkel photo board for all to see. But
it’s no beauty contest.
“All the girls will laugh and tell you how ridiculous you
look,” said one student.
Actually it’s the staff that is enjoying the competition.
Teacher Shaka Greene is the reigning Urkel Award champ.
He started out ‘urkeling’ as many as 80 students a
week, but after five weeks it dropped to just 18.
“We’re talking about a more than 80-percent drop in
the number of students that we actually have to put a zip tie
on,” Greene says.
White’s motto is “pride, passion, and
One young man summed it up best when he said, “The
students know how to strap up or to get strapped up around
Principal White also instituted a tie day on Tuesdays, and on
Jazzy Thursdays the girls are instructed to dress