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Threat of 'Urkel' solves sagging pants problem

Threat of 'Urkel' solves sagging pants problem

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A middle school in Tennessee has had enough with the saggy drawers. Teachers there are telling kids with baggy pants to pull them up, or get "Urkeled."

Westside Middle School Principal Bobby White tells TV station WMC the idea is to fight pop culture with pop culture. If boys emulate rappers by letting their pants droop, teachers cinch up their pants using zip ties - sometimes to their armpits.

"Everybody who possibly needed to be Urkeled, they were Urkeled," White said.

"I thought it was a joke, until I got Urkeled," one student said.

"They can put your pants as high as your chest, and they can put as many as three or four [zip ties] on you," observed another student. "Students know to strap up or get strapped up around here."

Violators of the no-baggy-pants rule have their picture taken with their new, nerdier style, and it's posted on a photo board for all to see.

"All the girls will laugh and tell you how ridiculous you look," one student said.

The name of the style comes from the character Steve Urkel, popularized by the 90s TV show "Family Matters." Played by Jaleel White, he wore suspenders that hitched his pants up to his upper chest, leaving his white socks exposed over brown and tan loafers.

The new policy seems to be working at Westside. Teacher Shaka Greene 'Urkeled' up to 80 students a week when the policy first took effect. After five weeks, that number was down to 18 - an 80 percent drop.


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Becky Bruce


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