At a time when kids parade through town and school with pants hanging well below their rear ends, Westside Principal Bobby White helped create a new gimmick to get them to pull up their pants. “I’m old school with new ideas,” White said. The idea is called “The Urkel Initiative.” Students who wear their pants too low or don’t wear a belt get “Urkelized.” It means a staff member hikes up students’ pants and keeps them hiked up with twist ties.
When the initiative started weeks ago, 75-80 students a day were getting “Urkelized,” now you’ll see four or five. Staff members get a trophy for “Urkelizing” the most students. “What we wanted to do with our changing of the culture was to think of something that would stick with them, but not make it seem like they were being punished, and add a little humor all at the same time,” White said.
“You’re not going to go to a job interview where I can see your underwear. You’re not going to be hired. So we’re just going to teach you right now,” White added. Thirteen-year-old Keldrion Vann has been “Urkelized” eight or nine times. Now instead of dropping his pants, he’s dropping the trend. “It was kind of funny, but embarrassing too because they did it at lunchtime with everyone looking,” Vann said.
“You had to wear it like that for the rest of the day, or until you found a pair of scissors,” he added. Westside staff says the saggy pants rule is not the only one in the works. Boys wear ties on Tuesdays and may soon wear vests and blazers, and girls dress up on Thursdays. “In order for us to really be successful, we have to look successful. All of the men in our building dress for success on a daily basis,” White said.