Cover up tattoos, some employees told
By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY
The edicts have been issued to maintain a good image, say the communities, and they have been applied to teachers, janitors, firefighters and others.
"We didn't want to offend some people in the community," says Capt. Armando Hogan, spokesman for the Los Angeles City Fire Department, where employees were ordered last spring to cover all tattoos while on duty. "I have been on drills and on scene where someone has said, 'I wouldn't want that person working on me,' and we've had to educate the individual who made the comment."
Among the cities:
• Bountiful, Utah, decided in August that new employees must not show any tattoos.
• The Pasco County School Board in Florida has ordered employees to hide "offensive" tattoos.
• In Missouri, the Joplin School Board will vote on a no-visible-tattoo policy this year.
The orders to cover up have been growing as tattoos become more popular, especially tattoos on the face, neck, hands and fingers. Some workers feel the policy is unfair.
"We don't allow discrimination based on skin color, yet we came up with a policy that discriminated against people with color on their skin," says Steve Tufts, president of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City.
Joplin Schools Superintendent C.J. Huff says students are getting teaching degrees, getting tattoos, and then applying for jobs. "We're saying before you get a tattoo, you have to think about how big it is and where it's located before you think about getting a job in our school district," he says.
The rule in Bountiful was passed after applicants with hard-to-conceal tattoos showed up for interviews for jobs in the police, streets and sanitation departments. City Manager Tom Hardy says city leaders had to decide: "Either we're going to do nothing about it, or we're going to do something about it."
In each community, officials cite the exploding popularity of tattoos.
Bob Baxter, editor in chief of Skin & Ink magazine, agrees with the restrictive policies. Baxter says neck and face tattoos used to appear only on heavily tattooed people who ran out of space.
"What's happening (now) is that a lot of young people figure that the best way to show that 'I'm in the tattoo community' is to get tattoos in very conspicuous places," Baxter says. "I don't think it's a good idea. It's hard to get work."
Comment: (ones I found most interesting)
So, if you're stupid enough to tattoo your face, arms, or neck, sorry....you did it to yourself."
"I have several tats. I work in a nursing home, where I am required to cover them while in scrubs. Most of mine are covered by my clothes, I do have one on my wrist which I have to wear a braclet to cover. While I understand the need for me to cover them because of the generation views, I do not feel it is right to lable people just because they have a tat. I do not see Angelina Jolie having a hard time getting movie roles because she has tats. Nor do I see her getting any pay cuts. People need to look at the ENTIRE nation, not just a few jobs when putting lables on tats. I am willing to bet that a few of the political leaders have tats, that are covered. You can not say that just because someone has a tattoo it means they are in a gang or want to be. People do it for many different reasons. Everyone does it for a reason, some cultures do it as a sign of respect for a passing loved one. Piercings are a good example of this. I have a very good friend who has several piercings, and she is Indian. It is part of her culture. I think that it is something that should be accepted as part of who a person is. I do not see people looking down on someone for putting hair dye in their hair or perming it. Changing ones appearence to what makes them happy should not matter to anyone but that person. This country has developed a serious problem of judging others, when no one has the right to judge anyone."
Read the article on the USA Today page for more of the comments.
Now my opinion:
Many of the comments are very dogmatic towards people with tattoos. One of the comments said that people are not allowed to discriminate against people with different skin color so why should they discriminate against people with tattoos. That is crossing the line. Skin color is something you are born with, It's not something that you choose. NOT that having a different skin color is something that you should be ashamed of. Tattoos are a choice, You choose to have that on your body. I don't like full body tattoos. But I don't think people are freaks because they have them. I do not believe that obscene tattoos should be displayed that is along the lines of public exposure or cursing in front of children some people choose not to be exposed to that, Why force it down their throat. They have made a choice and people should respect that. Just as people with tattoos have made a choice to have them. You want to have a obscene tattoo. Go for it but don't flash it around. Obscene tattoos are like obscene clothing. It is simply in bad taste. Would I hire someone with full body tattoos? Well I don't classify people by that but if they had a tattoo on their forehead that said loser I might have to consider it. ;) I would not allow an employee with a obscene tattoo to display them while they are on duty.