There’s nothing wrong with tattoos. The permanent skin pigmentation has been performed for thousands of years, and the ancient practice is continued today for religious, cultural and personal reasons.
Despite the practice’s long history, turning your body into an art canvas still has the potential to stir up trouble in modern times.
Sylvain Helaine, who lives in the Paris area, discovered this the hard way after his own radical transformation cost him a preferred job.
The ink aficionado and now-former kindergarten teacher at Docteur Morere Elementary School in the Palaiseau suburb of Paris started getting tattoos about eight years ago.
At first, the designs were no problem.
“All of my students and their parents were always cool with me because basically they knew me,” Helaine told Reuters.
But after a grand total of 460 hours under tattoo artists’ needles, Helaine’s good fortune finally ran out.
By the time that Helaine said a complaint was made last year, tattoos covered most of his body. Even the whites of the schoolteacher’s eyes were filled in with tattoo ink.
Helaine said the parents of a scared 3-year-old came forward to school authorities, claiming that the teacher’s appearance was causing their child to have nightmares. The student was not from Helaine’s class.
Authorities worried his appearance could cause fear in some younger students, and Helaine eventually agreed to be removed from his kindergarten class, a spokesman for the local educational authority told Reuters.
Although he still teaches, his classes now only contain children ages 6 and up.
Helaine said it was “quite sad” that the school decided to stop letting him teach kindergarten.
Take a look at some pictures of Helaine below:
— AFP Photo (@AFPphoto) September 23, 2020
Helaine said he wants to use his looks to teach students to accept others for who they are.
The schoolteacher told Reuters that the lesson could follow kids into adulthood, making them “less racist and less homophobic and more open-minded.”
Helaine plans to remain a teacher, claiming a love for the profession.
While it looks like he will have no problem keeping a job in the French educational system, it appears as though Helaine will not be teaching kindergarten in the future.
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