What is your opinion of teachers having tattoos?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by waterfall, Sep 6, 2011.

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  1. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm far from young, and am quite conservative in many ways, but tattoos really don't bother me. (I do think that facial tattoos are a major mistake, but that's not what we're talking about). The one circumstance under which I could see myself getting a tattoo would be if, God forbid, anything happened to one of my children. I would seriously consider getting a tattoo as a memory--I even know what they would be for each child. It would be small, but would likely be in a visible spot (on my wrist). I can't understand how that would change the person and teacher that I am.
     
  2. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Anything is distracting to kids. I wore my glasses one day instead of contacts and they talked about that for half the class :rolleyes: If another teacher comes in or someone gets called down to the office they use that as an excuse to talk.
     
  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have a friend who has a small tattoo on her back and teaches elementary. She is very tall, and also rather, um, busty, so she has difficulty finding shirts that don't occasionally ride up in the back when she bends over or reaches up high. Even if she wears a cami underneath it, it still happens eventually. So about the second day of school she says, "I have a tattoo on my back. At some point you're going to see it. It looks like this. (She then shows it to them for a split second.) Everyone 'ooo' and 'ahhh' now, because after this it will not be an issue and it will not be a distraction." She's never had a problem with it. (She also has another visible tattoo on her ankle.)
     
  4. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My daughter has a very similar tattoo. She spends lots of money on bandaids and shoes that cover it. She regrets getting it or not putting it somewhere easier to hide and is now looking into getting it removed. No one at her school knows that she has it.
     
  5. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    My employers have all seen my tattoos

    Ever since I got my tattoo when I was 21 (I now have 2, planning a third), I do not cover it up at job interviews. It is on my upper chest, and is a tattoo of the comedy/drama faces. I also have my son on my shoulder. If the only reason someone won't hire me is my tattoo, I don't want to work there anyway. I've gotten every job I've ever interviewed for since then, so it obviously wasn't a problem, and I've worked in many places, both conservative and liberal. I've also worked in many different fields outside of teaching. If it's obscene, that's different. If it's extreme, like you're entire face is covered, maybe? If you have something weird, like horns implanted in your head, maybe? But I can't believe that we still live in a world where people will be discriminated against because of a personal choice about their body.
     
  6. Pacificpastime

    Pacificpastime Companion

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    They just cant be showing. If you have tatoos that will be visible you will not be hired. It has not been a problem at all at our school.
     
  7. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    I personally don't have a problem with tattoo's. It's a free choice to have them or not. As long as they are covered up during school hours and a teacher is still doing what is best for their students nothing else matters in my opinion.
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I don't personally have a problem with them, as long as the tattoo itself isn't offensive.

    But when you cover yourself with tattoos, you have to understand that it doesn't exactly give you the most professional look - whether you agree with that opinion or not. That's a personal choice you make and you have to understand the possible consequences.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well, ok. A) I did not and will not make any attempt to hide any part of me in a job interview or at any other time. What, am I seriously going to bandage up a tattoo for the next 35 years? Um, no. And, B) I have a job, and am not interviewing, so the point is moot.
     
  10. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I have to admit that I wonder about someone that is covered in tattoos like all over the arms and legs. Like "what is missing in their life that they need all kinds of permanent ink embedded all over their body". As for teaching with tats, no problem for me. I think its good for children to be exposed to diverse people. Makes life easier.
     
  11. midwestteacher

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    I am in a small, conservative school in the midwest. We don't have a policy against tattoos for students or teachers. I know of three teachers with tattoos in the district, but they are all in places that are easy to hide. A male teacher has one on a foot and always wears shoes as opposed to flip-flops. A couple of teachers have them on the small of the back or on the upper chest. Lots of the kids are getting them. Two of my students got large tattoos last week - both almost the size of a sheet of paper and told me they paid over $400 for them. They are probably behind on their lunch accounts.

    Our principal has a tiny diamond stud in her nose.
     
  12. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    I think it's best to have them covered, but if you can't cover them and if they aren't obscene I think it's fine. I have a nose ring/stud as does one of the office staff members at our school. She wears hers to work, I do not. I don't think there is anything wrong with nose rings obviously, but I don't want to be the inspiration behind a student deciding to get one when they grow up. I would feel the same about a tattoo if I had one.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Ah, I generally don't care. Cuss words, racial slurs, naked chicks...not cool. But your run of the mill flower or name or tribal design is of no concern to me.
     
  14. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Another reason why I think that individuals should not get a tattoo is the health risks. Alot of people think that getting a tatto is no big deal but if you look into it and research it you will find that it is something to think about.

    The FDA does not regulate tattoo pigments. Those pigments were originally developed to color paint industrial products, and they’ve actually never been tested in humans for safety. It turns out that tattoo pigments contain toxic metals like lead, cadmium and mercury. And worse, they contain some really bad chemicals like phenol and toluene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons derived from petroleum that are often carcinogenic. Over the last decade, doctors have started seeing skin cancers, particularly squamous cell carcinomas, arising from tattooed skin.

    Even if you decide to have it removed, you are only going to blast away that pigment a 2nd time through your body.

    While some of that might seem extreme, I would certainly check it out and it seems to me another good reason to stay away from it!
     
  15. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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  16. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I also teach in an area with Polynesians. Although it's true that many Americans perceive tattoos as unprofessional or tacky, I can't imagine trying to tell my students that their cultural expression somehow makes them lesser applicants for jobs. I also used to teach a population with many, many veterans. If the tattooed evidence of their service in the Marine Corps (or any other branch) serves to disqualify them as teachers, we are in serious trouble.

    I get the argument that in a professional context you try to appear value-neutral. But in some cases a tattoo is more than just a fad or an impulse. Given how strongly many people feel about tattooing as an art form or an expression of ethnicity, I just think it's unfortunate to take any hard line on it.

    No tats on me, but many on my colleagues. Colorful hair, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  17. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    If there's something wrong with people who have tattoos, there's something wrong with me. I have one on my back and I proudly show it off in workout wear, summer clothes and beach wear!

    Don't make the fact that I don't believe they should be visible in a professional environment a judgement on other people. That's the problem with this type of discussion over the internet. People read all kinds of things into statements that aren't really there and want to start fights.

    I think they're fun, I think they're an expression of personality for many people and I think some are great works of art. Shows like LA Ink make a point to show how important they are to people as memorials and tributes. However, I don't think they're appropriate in a work environment. Nor do I think low-cut blouses, stripper shoes, shorts or jeans to be appropriate. I draw a line. Sorry if you don't agree, but it's the way I feel. I was under the impression that the original poster was asking for opinions...sometimes people have opinions that differ from your own.
     
  18. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    It's not like it would be a huge thing, but I'd think a little more highly of a teacher with a tasteful (i.e., not garish) tattoo. It's a big decision, a permanent one, one which shows either a more open mind or a serious commitment, and is a bit less conservative than typical teachers (not that there's anything wrong with conservative teachers, but I figure sometimes it's good if kids have a little variety).

    So, USMC tattoo -- I would hope it would be visible!
    AIDS awareness tattoo (I once knew a girl with one on the knuckle side of a finger) -- I would approve.
    Decorative tattoos -- As long as they weren't outlandish, I'd be fine with it.

    The only tattoo I would ever get would be my kids' names in kanji, mainly because the younger two are hard to remember.

    On the other hand, a more "trashy" tattoo would show a severe lack of judgment about the future.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    The person I mentioned in the OP has a lot of religious tattoos. She has a really big cross, a "jesus fish", and a dove that I know of for sure that are very visible with almost any outfit. For those of you that said it is okay to show them at school, would that change your mind? Just curious.
     
  20. midwestteacher

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    Don't forget, the USMC has changed their rules - no tattoos that can be seen in short sleeves. If you get tats on your lower arm when you are 18, you can't get in now. Everyone that was inked when the ruling was passed was photographed and their existing tattoos were grandfathered in.
    "MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. — The Marine Corps released additional rules to its tattoo policy last month, banning more places on the body where Marines cannot get them and setting tougher rules for officers.

    In addition to the already prohibited head and neck, Marines cannot get tattoos or brands on their hands, fingers, wrists or inside their mouths, according to Marine Administrative Message 29/10 released Jan. 15, 2010.
    For officers, band tattoos wider than 2 inches are now prohibited. Enlisted Marines are allowed bands only as wide as one quarter of the arm or leg where it is tattooed as seen in the PT uniform. Band tattoos can either partially or fully encircle the circumference of the arm or leg.

    Additionally, any enlisted Marine who had grandfathered sleeve tattoos can no longer apply for any Marine Corps commissioning or warrant officer programs. "
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have two tiny little dots, one on either side of my right breast... you have to hunt to find them.

    God willing, I'll have no reason to ever get another.
     
  22. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    No, not because of the religious nature, anyway. A garish cross would still fall under "garish tattoos", though.
     
  23. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Many of the Marines I taught were returning to college after completing a career. They were in the range of 35-45 years old. They had tattoos, they were interesting, widely experienced, thoughtful men who would be a great asset to the classroom. It sounds like younger Marines won't be sporting many visible tattoos in the future.

    Waterfall, the religious nature of the tattoos on your colleague don't bother me. Some Polynesian symbols have religious significance, but I don't know enough to recognize the significance of any particular symbol. That doesn't bother me, either.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No.
     
  25. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Interesting...personally, I grew up in a religious family so I wouldn't even bat an eye at religious tattoos, but I remember a thread awhile back about teachers sharing their religious views with their classes (even just mentioning going to church, or having a visible bible) and many members were pretty adamantly against it for various reasons. I just wondered if people had that same sentiment with someone wearing a tattoo that promoted their religion at school. This woman doesn't work at my school- I'm just really good friends with her sister so I heard all about the "tattoo debacle" and her being asked to cover them up from her sister. I was just curious to see what others thought. If I were interested in getting one, I would kind of worry about the job situation. On the other hand though, I don't really care if other people at work have them.
     
  26. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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  27. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    It's up to each school or district to determine their policy regarding tattoos. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with tattoos, although I do feel it isn't a good idea to have an excessive number of them (such as the sister mentioned in the OP).

    Each person has the right to make a "personal choice" about their body. But each school district has the same right to make a "personal choice" that visible tattoos may NOT present the image they want their teachers and staff to project.
     
  28. newteech

    newteech Rookie

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    I teach 6th grade.

    When 11yo girls enter my class with those fake tats on their arms, I wish I could find a way to express my feeling of "that looks disgusting" in a way that was respectable.
     
  29. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I personally don't care for them. I've never wanted one myself & don't plan to in the future. I wouldn't want my significant other to get one either. I know a lot of people have them, but teacher or not, in society, they're viewed negatively & people have a certain impression of those who have them. I don't think tattoos are classy.

    I almost feel the same way about mohawks, but at least w/ them, a person can change their hairstyle.
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    But why would someone with a mohawk/faux hawk want to change their hairstyle?

    I love my faux hawk. I'm young, dress well, and get complimented on my professional appearance by my co-workers & administration.

    'Nuff said.
     
  31. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    There is no reason to be defensive.

    The OP was asking for opinions and Ms. I gave hers. Opinions, by definition, will vary among members. That doesn't make one opinion "right" and another one "wrong", it just makes them both different and equally valid.

    Your current administration doesn't mind your faux hawk. That's great. But if you ever have to change jobs or get new admin, your new bosses my have a different opinion and you might have to change your hair style whether you want to or not.
     
  32. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Our new, young librarian got a mohawk in May of the last school year. I didn't think that was appropriate at all.
     
  33. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    If you re-read my post, you'll notice that I didn't say anyone's opinion was right or wrong.

    Furthermore, I really didn't need the definition of an opinion.

    You said I was being defensive and I say you're being condescending.

    Again, you gave your opinion, I gave mine, and she gave hers. Period.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think mohawks and fauxhawks are super cute. :haha:
     
  35. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I didn't say you labeled one opinion right and another wrong. I said you were being defensive. Your response only confirms that even further.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I totally agree.

    I sure didn't read "defensive" from your post. :huh:
     
  37. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Awwww, I like 'em!! I mean, I am assuming you are talkng about the hair that sticks up a bit in the middle, like in these pics right?
    http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1TSNJ_enUS444US444&q=tattoos+in+mouth&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1366&bih=667#um=1&hl=en&rlz=1C1TSNJ_enUS444US444&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=faux+hawk&pbx=1&oq=faux+hawk&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=295153l297388l0l297667l9l8l0l1l1l0l536l1042l0.1.0.1.0.1l3l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=fb2c8bd969afbb0d&biw=1366&bih=667

    Same here. Hubby used to do the faux hauk thing for a while, but grew his hair out and is doing the messy do. Not too crazy about it, though.

    I have tons of friends who have tattoos. But in the classroom? No, I wouldn't want them to be portrayed in that environment. I just HATE it when kids get the fake ones. So, I think it be best to cover them up during the time you are working with them. (of course, this is coming from someone who works primarily with K-6 grade students).
     
  38. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My son is an accountant. He has tattoos on his shoulders and calf...all are covered by work attire. I don't have any, but one of my senior administrators has a large one on her leg.
     
  39. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    The general attitude about them here is that when students have to cover them up, then teachers will cover them. They just aren't seen as a big deal here, and many of my students have them, and they are visible.

    When I taught at an elementary school, the staff used to hit up a tattoo parlor as a bonding experience when they went out of town on training trips. They weren't seen as a big deal at all. The principal had one that was visible in many shirts.
     
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