Aesop, a Greek fabulist of the late sixth century B.C., expressed through his fable, The Ant and the Chrysalis, that "Appearances are often deceiving". Aesop's cautionary tale strongly suggests that people should refrain from making judgments about others based on the way they look. The true nature and depth of an individual cannot and should not be so simplistically evaluated. Therefore, our public-school educators should not be restricted by codes that prohibit visible tattoos.
Teachers should be able to have visible tattoos because the tattoo allows for freedom of expression. For example, the teacher could have a rainbow peace sign (which could be their way of expressing their sexuality).Their tattoo represents something they believe in and is a part of who they are. Those who disagree may argue that tattoos are not an appropriate way for people to express themselves, especially if they work with children, who are impressionable.The act of banning tattoos in school (or requiring that they be covered up) is interfering with the person's constitutional right of freedom of expression. If the tattoo is not vulgar, racist, inappropriate, or unbefitting to the teacher's group of students, faculty members should not be forced to conceal them. Teachers have a right to represent their beliefs and who they are in any appropriate, legal way they choose, which includes having a tattoo.
Teachers should be allowed to have tattoos because, in many schools, students can. What is applicable to one group (students) should be applicable to all groups (teachers). Teachers and students should follow the same rules and dress code of conduct that is established at the school. If students can have any kind and any number of tattoos, then so should teachers. However, some people would beg to differ. That is, they may use the excuse that it does not matter if students have tattoos because they are not in a professional position. Nevertheless, it is unfair to allow students the option to express themselves through tattoos, but not for faculty.
Some people say that tattoos are a distraction, but they are not as big of a distraction as people think. If a teacher has a tattoo that is tasteful (not vulgar, racist, or inappropriate) it is not a distraction to their students, and it does not prevent them from learning. For instance, if a faculty member has a tattoo on their arm, it does not stop them from teaching and it does not interrupt the students' learning. A student will look at something that they see for the first time, and soon enough, it becomes so normal to them that they almost forget that it is there. Plus, tattoos are so common, that a student will see one practically every day. That is, they see people on TV, in movies, walking down the street, just basically everywhere, with a tattoo. Witnessing a tattoo on another person is part of their everyday life. Therefore, seeing a teacher with a tattoo makes no difference to the student. Even though tattoos are everywhere, people will argue that they still have the potential to be a distraction. There are other characteristics a teacher may have that can be distracting to students. For example, a teacher with facial hair can be considered a distraction, but it is overlooked by the school. Schools do not force teachers to be clean shaven. Although that is true, the possibility of a tattoo being a distraction teaches the lesson of how life is full of distractions and students will learn how to deal with them.
Comparable to the more familiar saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover," stated by George Elliot, author of The Mills on the Floss, people should not scrutinize others based on appearances. The reasons for prohibiting teachers from having visible tattoos are against our constitutional right to freely express ourselves. Therefore, there is no real argument as to why teachers should not be permitted to have tattoos. Public schools should allow their faculty to have tattoos because they are not a distraction, students have them, and they are a symbol of who the person is. No one has the right to say otherwise. If teachers still teach properly, then there is no problem with them having tattoos.