Urkeling at Westside Middle School
The Westside Middle school of Memphis, Tennessee has a vision; Empowering dreamers to achieve excellence in all facets of life.
Bobby White Jr. is the principal of the school. He has a motto of his own; Pride, Passion and Professionalism. Mr. White also has a vision. His vision involves no students “bustin a sag” (i.e. wearing pants that hang lower than normal to reveal undergarments) because if they do, he’s going to go “Steve Urkel” on them.
What does this mean exactly? If Principal White, or any staff member of the school, has a run in with a student parading around with pants worn inappropriately; zip ties are fastened Steve Urkel Fashion (see photo). The process of drawing the pants chest high has been dubbed “Urkeling” at Westside.
At the start of Urkeling, up to 80 students per week were caught up in the action. As of late, that number has diminished to about 18.
Principal White runs a strict school but he tosses in a fun variation to keep the students on their toes. On Tuesdays, students wear ties and on Thursdays, girls dress professionally, also known as Jazzy Thursday.
White says, “I may not change the world, but I vow to strive daily, to spark the mind of a child who someday does.”
Rewind to my middle school days when the issue was shorts length. While standing upright, arms to the sides, fingers extended; the shorts were to reach your fingertips or you were reprimanded. Continuous offenses were handled accordingly.
Our children attend school to learn but we can’t expect them to be unsocial. They express their creativity and personality through their clothing style. Wouldn’t it be fun to have Bobby White make rounds at each of our kid’s schools and set up an Urkeling type rule to suit each location?