The Important Reason One School Is Giving Free Belts To Students

A high school in South Carolina is handing out free belts to students with the hope to inspire young men in the school.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

Students Across Virginia Walk Out Of Schools To Protest Governor’s LGBTQ Policy

free belts

Pants sagging has been an issue in some areas for years now. This trend of hanging one’s pants at or below their bottom has been outlawed in some areas, due to indecent exposure. Now one South Carolina High School is offering students free belts in an effort to encourage them to dress with respect and present good first impressions

The sagging trend began decades ago. Many within the black community did so to honor friends and loved ones in prison, but prison inmates have admitted that when a man sags his pants under incarceration it is sometimes a sign of sexual invitation. This miscommunicated fashion trend has led masses of young men to walk down the street with their pants falling off their bottoms and even lower. It’s become such a distraction that community leaders are working to find constructive solutions, like providing free belts. 

While passing laws against sagging may seem like a simple deterrent, it only further implicates young men and sets them on a pathway to prison. Instead of outlawing a popular minority fashion trend, encouraging young men to move on and dress to impress offers them a choice and the ability to rise up through success. This new free belt initiative is available at North Charleston High School and displaying positive results. 

It was launched by school mentor, Thomas Ravenell. He and mentoring partner, Charles Tyler, began their No Sagging Campaign three years ago. Their new free belt program has already handed out dozens of belts within the first three days of the new school year. Volunteers hope to distribute hundreds more to students and help provide them with an improved view of what to wear.

Tyler admitted that he lost his father when he was young and that it was the help of mentors who guided him to be a successful adult. The free belt program isn’t just helping students by offering a clothing item, but by also giving young men new role models to display how dressing respectfully can earn others’ respect. One student noted how “Some people want respect without giving respect, and I do not see how that is.” 

The mentors running this initiative spoke about how they wish to lead by example. They have already seen a positive change in students and their story is going viral online. In just a few days a Facebook post highlighting this campaign has received 1K likes and 1.2K shares. The comments are full of support for giving out free belts and some are even asking for the mentors to start a Go Fund Me page so they can donate to the cause. 

free belts

While handing out free belts may not seem like a life-changing act, it truly is changing students’ perspectives. Whether sagging remains a popular trend, dressing with style has led to more success and young men are beginning to recognize that. As dress codes and laws work to reprimand students who do not adhere to fashion measures, this approach is proving that plenty of young men will choose to better themselves when given the chance.