Schools are moving past judgement on tattoos in the workplace

Jacob Frye, Staff Writer

Most students are used to seeing teachers with visible tattoos. What is the initial impression of them? How do teachers feel about how they will be seen in the workplace? We often don’t stop and explore this question.

 The teachers that do have tattoos may experience a problem. How will society perceive them? More importantly, how will parents, administrators, and students perceive them? According to Teacher Tapp’s survey, “18% of primary school teachers polled admitted to having tattoos, but only 4% said they had a visible tattoo when they wear normal clothing.” Teachers are scared to show their tattoos because, according to the Equality Act of 2010, one can discriminate against teachers with tattoos. It is not listed in the characteristics protected in the act. This means an administrator can choose not to hire someone with tattoos.  

How do the teachers think they are seen? Ms. Franco, a Civics GI social studies teacher, states that for many years, she had many cardigans in all different types of colors in order to cover her tattoos. This was due to a fear that she would be perceived as less serious by students.Ms. Franco also brings up that her feelings have changed over the years as general opinions changed. In the early 2000s, tattoos were seen as crass and unprofessional, especially in the education field. 

“There are times when it seems most appropriate and more professional to have them not showing, especially working with parents and or professionals who aren’t a part of the school community.” This would show up in parent teacher conferences, meetings with administrators, and other important scenarios. 

Mr. Ambrose, a ninth-grade science teacher, states how he feels he is viewed in the workplace.