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DALLAS - There is no sagging when it comes to one group of Dallas Independent School District students.

An after-school program at David W. Carter High School encourages the youths to keep their pants pulled up.

Man up, stand up, pull your pants up is the motto for the group of high school students learning how to become men.

This is something I can cherish, said senior Marquinn Rollings. That's all I can say, 'I was part of Man Up; I was one of the founders.'

Man Up is a male mentoring program designed to teach at-risk teens discipline and give them a sense of self respect and a positive image.

It was started several months ago by art teacher Curtis Ferguson. The program leader said some of his colleagues thought the group was a joke until they saw the change it made in the boys.

A teacher saying, 'He carried my book to the car for me and I tried giving him $2 and he said, 'No ma'am, I just did that. That's what a man is supposed to do', he said.

Once a week after school, a group of about 60 young men bond in a classroom, helping each other to stay on the straight path.

Longtime Carter High government teacher Mike Gipson, one of the group's advisers, said he feels Man Up is a blessing for the young men.

I can see what God has shown us for these guys, he said. It's working and that's the main thing. It is working.

One of the groups slogans is no sagging. The teens have all promised to keep their pants pulled up. Every Wednesday, they dress in their Sunday best.

Man Up is open to any male student attending Carter High School and has also recently expanded to Lincoln High School.

E-mail: cflanagan@wfaa.com

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