Can teachers have tattoos? To answer your question, it depends on the country’s laws. For example, in Indian educational institutions, teachers having tattoos are seen as unprofessional and are prohibited if it is present in a place where they can’t be covered up. So, you can say that it is not a wise idea to get yourself tattooed if you are a teacher because you have to probably cover it up.
Educational institutions such as schools need their students to abide by the dress code. So, in return most school authorities expect teachers to maintain a sense of decorum as well. Tattoos or body art can be a great way for people to express their interests; to preserve memories and state their individuality. But, they have a controversial reputation as well.
They are found inappropriate in the workplace because of their association with criminal activities. However, with the changing times, this social stigma is fading. But, what’s still important is that in countries such as India, many government jobs still prohibit tattoos on visible places of the body such as the wrist, head, etc. Let us look at the nuances of why body art is such a contentious problem.
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In India, having tattoos is strictly prohibited in many government jobs such as IAS, IPS, and CRPF. In corporate jobs too, HRs would ask you to cover up tattoos if you have one in a visible place. In India, under the Equality Act 2010, other than any religious markings, nobody's art is protected as such.
But, if you opt for the teaching profession, it may not be the cause of rejection but might be seen in an unfavorable light. The school teaching staff while hiring you might ask you to cover up your tattoos in front of impressionable children. In most job sectors, people having body art on them are seen as less serious or less reliable when it comes to working. Most people find it intimidating as well.
While some believe that having tattoos pose no bearing whatsoever on someone’s ability to teach, others beg to differ. Some other parents and fellow teaching staff disapprove of body art as they think it can create an undesirable impression on school kids. Some also said that as long as the tattoos are appropriate in their nature, they can be visible! But, this does not exclude the subject from being judged continuously.
A Tech Tapp survey points out that 18% of primary school educators have voted that they had tattoos. Whereas 4% of the voters claimed that they have tattoos that are visible while wearing normal clothes.
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There are several reasons for asking can teachers have tattoos and piercings. Some of those reasons are as follows:
Apart from the social stigma surrounding it, there are several health reasons why tattoos are not allowed in many professions. Several health risks could show up if the needles are not properly sterilized or used in the correct manner. Some of the health risks include-
- It can lead to the transmission of dangerous infections such as HIV and Hepatitis.
- The person might have dangerous allergic reactions to the ink.
- Tattoos could lead to skin cancer.
- It might increase your risk of conceiving bacterial infections.
Influence on Students
Many assume having tattoos is in poor taste. Others think that tattoos are explicit and are not proper for children to see. This includes the generational factor as well. Owing to the social revolution, today’s generation has become more accepting of tattoos and piercings but administrative bodies are still skeptical about the influence tattoos exert on students.
Tattoos might encourage students to get one of theirs as well which will violate their dress code regulations and incite them to rebel against the authorities.
Negative Reputation of School
The school’s reputation might be heavily impacted if the school authorities are lenient on this matter. Often discipline is viewed from a very conservative point of view. Owing to the social stigma attached to tattooed individuals, parents might back off from sending their kids to school.
Since a child spends most of their day in school, their main mental development occurs there. So, it is crucial to parents to trust the school authorities and their decisions.
You will find people calling you out as a distracting person because of your tattoos. While having a meeting with your boss or while briefing your new colleague, this problem could come up. With children and their curiosity, this problem is more prominent since children seem to be quick judges of characters.
The Equality Act 2010 forbids employers to discriminate against their employees based on the following protected features - age, gender, marriage, disability, civil partnership, religion, race, religious belief, pregnancy and maternity, and sexual orientation.
Moreover, religious markings also fall under the protected characteristics of the Equality Act. But, the Equality Act does not protect body art or tattoos. This indicates that employers may practice discretion on how to deal with such individuals. This will also affect the recruitment process of the candidates having tattoos.
But, as Equality Act provides protection against discrimination based on religion and religious belief, if your tattoo contains religious iconography, it could help you seek protection granted by Act from workplace discrimination. So, employers are within their rights to deal with this issue in their own way.
They can implement a dress code that directs teachers to cover up tattoos in school premises. They could also dismiss a staff member if their tattoos are visible since it goes against the dress code as stipulated by the school authorities. Thus, employers who wish to not allow tattoos in their institutions must clearly communicate it to their staff.
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Most educational institutions would enforce rules that only discriminate against individuals with inappropriate tattoos and reprimand them. A harmless tattoo that conveys a memory or emotion or feeling should have no negative influence on students.
So, the type of tattoo does matter when it comes to the question - one can teachers have tattoos in 2022. If you aim to be a professor or a teacher, you must decide wisely and choose your preferred environment.
In this socially aware generation, it is important that teachers imbibe in students the quality of not generalizing but differentiating the good from the bad. Generalizing tattoos as evil or inherently bad will not help their judgment. Rather, if the school teaches them to be accepting of differences and change their views with changing times, they could be an active participant in this rapidly morphing society.
If the tattoo is harmless and preserves memory, rather than hiding it, it should be explained to children why it is important to preserve a memory. This is a way of constructive learning. Protecting children from the adult world will only make them more ignorant and unaccepting in their future. Personality development is as important as scoring well in exams.
Given the workplace dress code, teachers too should be mindful about what is allowed and what is not. The law states that employers have full jurisdiction to make decisions on whether teachers should keep tattoos hidden. If a teacher has a tattoo that is inappropriate, the authority’s decision to hide it is justifiable.
You should first check the dress code of your school and college authority first. But, it is always wise to cover them up during your interview as you might be judged based on that.
Unless the college or university dictates that you can’t have tattoos, I think it is good to assume that you can have tattoos if you become a professor.
Many Govt defense jobs in India forbid you to have tattoos as it poses a health risk for the individual. In the case of teaching jobs, it is a bit of a grey area. You should always check the dress code if there is one. Otherwise, it is wise to cover them up during your interview.
Yes, you probably can unless your hand tattoo displays a gang symbol or inappropriate language. But, some school or college authorities might consider it as a bad influence on students if they are in a visible place.
We hope this blog sheds some light on can teachers have tattoos in 2022. Now, you know what the parameters are for you to be accepted in your workplace if you are a tattooed individual or thinking about getting one. You can read more articles about teachers on our blog from onlinestemdegrees.com. We update our website regularly with information that is sought by students and teachers from all around the world.