Tattoos and Piercings in School
The privilege of living in America comes with certain rights. The freedom of speech and the freedom of religion are the main two rights that come to mind. A right that rarely comes into play in a large scale is the freedom of appearance. Recently, two teachers in the Ogden School District have had to modify their attire at work to hide a nose piercing, and tattoos.
Mark Johnson shares the story of his family with the tattoos on his left forearm: his wife's initials, his daughter's name in Chinese characters and a skull that reminds him of when his son, at 4 months, had surgery to open the soft spot that closed too soon...
In January, the Ogden City School District changed its dress code to ban visible tattoos and facial piercings during work hours.
Johnson, who has taught English at Ogden High for 15 years, initially declined to hide his tattoos. But after his principal discussed the steps of appeal -- a process that could end in termination -- Johnson began covering up.
To me, it seems that Mark Johnson should have the right to wear his tattoos freely. They are not gang or drug related. They are not a bad influence on those around him. They appear to carry with them values of family and commitment. It is strange that the school would make this an issue. Another teacher, Halie Vaughan, had to cover up her nose piercing while at work. In a country where we have so many rights and privileges as citizens, why does a school have the right to make its employees cover up non-threatening tattoos and piercings? The whole matter does not make sense, nor does it resonate with the rights that we as Americans enjoy.