Is That a Tattoo?

To get my kindergartners warmed up for gym class, I would arrange students in a circle and lead them through various stretches. Once, when I demonstrated how to do a bicycling move, my shirt slid up slightly revealing a tattoo on my lower back. I sat up to see 27 kindergartners all staring at me with wide eyes. One of the more outgoing students said, “Miss B! You have a tattoo!” I briefly explained that I did and that it was a picture of theater masks because I did a lot of community theater. And that was that. 

I was reminded of this experience recently when I read an article about tattoos and piercings in an early childhood setting. Even before I began reading, I got all geared up to be offended. I assumed the author would bash these forms of expression, labeling them as inappropriate and damaging to young minds. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the following theme: Students need to see people at school who reflect the people they see at home. So is it necessary to remove piercings, cover tattoos, and rethink that turquoise streak of hair? Personally, I don’t think so. 

I’m curious about the rules and dress code at the school where you teach. Is it restrictive? How do they feel about tattoos and piercings?



6 thoughts on “Is That a Tattoo?

  1. You know this question piqued my interest greatly! I don’t personally have tatoos but I can see the way they are so popular now being a topic to attract attention to the early childhood age group. I feel as if most people getting tatoos are celebrating life and it is an extention of their own self expression. I think they should be discussed with children when they show interest. After all art is a big part of early childhood! You could just be inspiring the next generation of artists.

  2. I have always had accepting administrations for the most part. I once had a principal in a church school I worked out that was mortified about not only my tattoos but also my belly button piercing . She requested I take the piercing out when we had our Luau at the beach the end of the year. Our Pastor said, “no”. Pastor had no problem with the tattoos and piercing…or my multi-colored hair (only problem he had was I never had green hair LOL). Public school was the same, very accepting of my tattoos and the tattoos of others. Piercings however, were not allowed when I worked in Special Ed. Earrings, or facial…for safety reasons.

  3. Being at a church our dress code isn’t so lax. As a Director with tattoos I would love for my staff not have to cover theirs, but we have an old fashioned board that doesn’t see tattoos and piercings as professional. I see their point to a point. I’ve had the fight to change this policy for 3 years.

  4. I’d love to have one, and they are much more common and acceptable these days. I think you might want to stay away from faces/necks/hands until you know where you’ll be working. And if they are appropriate, I have no issues!

  5. While I’m not the classroom teacher but a para educator in a classroom with students who are on the autism spectrum. Per our administrator I have to keep my covered in hopes to prevent a melt down because we have a student who wants color it in.

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