As a physical education teacher at Hamilton Middle School, Lavonta Williams kept string or an extra belt available in case students showed up wearing their pants too low.
"We didn't make a huge issue of it," said Williams, Wichita's vice mayor. "I think many of us thought it was a fad, that it was going away soon."
But it didn't, and Williams wants to know what residents of her district think about the trend of young people wearing pants or skirts that droop below their waists.
Williams had her District I neighborhood assistant, LaShonda Garnes, send an e-mail that Williams had received from a constituent to members of the district, asking them their opinions about the issue.
The e-mail included a link to an online story about an ordinance in Albany, Ga., that bans saggy pants.
Williams said she'll share the opinions she gathers at one of the breakfasts her district holds every Saturday.
She said her informal polling has nothing to do with official city business. The council has no plans to discuss the issue, and no ordinance banning saggy pants in Wichita is contemplated.
"It's not something the community needs to be concerned about at this point, but we did want to find out how our neighborhoods and communities felt about it," Williams said.
Albany, Ga., has collected $4,000 in fines since banning saggy pants nine months ago. Its ordinance prohibits pants or skirts that sit more than three inches below the top of the hips, exposing skin or underwear.
First-time offenders pay $25, and fines for subsequent violations can climb as high as $200.
The ordinance doesn't call for arrests or imprisonment, but allows 40 hours of community service to be completed in lieu of fines.
Several other cities and towns in Georgia have, or are considering, similar laws. Towns in Alabama, Florida, Virginia and Louisiana also have or are considering a ban on droopy drawers.
In Fort Worth, Texas, bus drivers are permitted to turn away passengers whose pants sag below the waist.
Sagging pants have led to confrontations. In April, a high school student in Derby was confronted by school resource officers about his sagging pants while he was walking to the bus stop outside the school. The student claimed the officers knocked him to the ground, used a Taser gun on him, and broke his arm after he refused to pull up his pants. The Derby Police Department later cleared the officers of wrongdoing.
In June, a University of New Mexico football player, Deshon Marman, was kicked off a US Airways flight for wearing saggy pants.
"I think it would be well for us to watch how other cities are putting ordinances in place," Williams said.
But Williams, who also is president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, fears the issue could become a problem for the City Council to deal with if it is perceived as an ethnic issue.
"In some cases you could be focusing on some group or another. That's one reason I wouldn't think we as a city want to get involved there," she said.