Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tattoo...

From today’s Sunday Star Times...
A Catholic school has expelled a pupil for getting a tattoo of an American rap musician on his arm - a $300 Christmas present from his social worker mum.


This was despite the student, 17-year-old Zavier Bygrave, pleading with Auckland's Sacred Heart College's board on Monday: "I want to go to school."

He argued he wanted to finish his final year saying: "This tattoo is on the outside of my skin. It doesn't change who I am on the inside."

Although Zavier promised to wear a long-sleeve shirt to hide the tattoo, the school ruled it "did not fit in with the Marist school values" and would be harmful for other students to see.

The black-and-white tattoo of musician Tupac Shakur is on Zavier's left arm, from his elbow to wrist.



I wonder now, would he have been expelled had the name tattooed on his arm been that of Bob Marley? Hmm, perhaps that could be seen as promoting a cannabis culture? How is about Catchafire, or Fat Freddy? Or perhaps any of the other kiwi pop-groups (I am definitely not up in this field)...

I suspect that the name on his arm had as much if not a heck of a lot more to do with his expulsion than the fact of the tattoo itself.

Come on now, thoughts please...

Should this kid have been expelled for the tattoo?

6 comments:

T. F. Stern said...

When it comes to following rules spelled out in public or private schools, there is little room for misunderstanding what is required. I'd have to say it's time to face the consequenses of making a poor choice.

This has little if anything to do with my disgust for the "zero tolerance" mentality being thrown about in place of reason and common sense. Dress codes and grooming have their place and should be upheld, both by students and the parents of those students.

Al said...

Tattoos are the Devil's workshop. Or something.

Nah, this one's got Doug Adams SEP* field on it from my perspective. It's invisible to me.

*Somebody Else's Problem.

Lucy Stern said...

What are the school rules on tattoo's? Do they have a rule, or are they just picking on him...If the school has a rule about it then the young man should probably be disaplined...

The probligo said...

I Believe that the school rules allow tatts - provided that they are discrete (not visible in uniform) and "cultural".

To illustrate the "cultural" aspect, it is not uncommon for Samoan boys to have their first tattoo applied at age 16, usually back or upper leg. The "tribal" tattoo fashion has impinged here as well, without the need for "genuine" coming in to it. As one comment from the school put it, enforce a total ban on tattoos and the whole school rugby team would probably be expelled.

I suspect (without knowing) that the subject of the tattoo is the greater problem than the tattoo itself.

Monkfish said...

In a past life as a teacher who made a token effort to enforce ridiculous 'school rules' concocted seemingly at random by school administrators, I think that tats are merely a superficial fashion expression. Why not focus more on the (presumably) human being that exists within the tats?

School administrators - and managers of other institutions - just love to exert authority. One of the first casualties of this desire - nay, urge - to subject underlings to conformity is self-expression. "It lets the school image down" - What a load of crap!
My daughter has tats, rings in her nose, dreads, etc and is hard working, clever, moral, and is raising a beautiful family.

So... I don't accept the conventional rationalisations that schools try to promote their image - certainly in the form of 'dress code' (=do as we tell you) and grooming, which merely emphasise superficial standards. Looking at t.f. stern's comment I have to agree - it is time to face the "consequenses [sic] of making a poor choice". Except that the poor choice might just be the school...

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