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Take Note: Baggy ban; Readers respond

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Baggy ban

Buckle up; it's the law.

At least it is for students at Chardon Middle School in Chardon, Ohio, who want to wear baggy pants. School officials have barred their 700 students from wearing baggy, loose-fitting pants to school, saying the low-slung style is a safety hazard and a disruption.

"We've had a couple of kids 'de-pantsed' in the hallways, which seemed funny to them but a disruption to us," said Hugh Terrell, an assistant principal at Chardon. "One kid stepped on his pants leg and hit his head on a science table."

Although the administrators couldn't make sense of the teenagers' fashion sense, they gave students a chance to hang on to the popular style.

"They were told the baggy pants had to be pulled up and belted up before Christmas vacation," Mr. Terrell said. But 30 or so students chose to rebel; then the school chose to change the dress code.

The ban went into effect last month, but there are students who still test the rule. First-time offenders are given detention, and a few Saturday school sessions have been held for repeat offenders. Third-timers could be suspended, Mr. Terrell said. But that hasn't happened yet.

Readers respond

When English teacher Tim Lutz signed up for a course on using the Internet computer network at Minnesota's Moorhead State University last fall, he had no idea how big a return he would receive on his investment.

What Mr. Lutz saw as a tool for teaching and professional development has helped replace the fire-damaged library at the 230-student high school in Twin Valley, Minn., where he teaches.

After the fire last December, Mr. Lutz sat down at his computer and cranked out a couple of postings on the Internet. One message pleaded for books to help replace the 9,000 volumes the school lost to fire and water damage; another asked that the request be passed on to others.

The postings set off a chain reaction of charity that has the Norman County East High School looking at the possibility of a 15,000-volume library. An Indiana woman whose attempt to start a bookstore recently fell flat has offered $4,000 worth of books, and a Minnesota family has donated about 20 boxes of books, he said.

Mr. Lutz said he's looking forward to next year, when classes at the school will include, for the first time, instruction on the Internet.

--Adrienne D. Coles
& Jeff Archer

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