Student tattoo forces school board to review policy - | WBTV Charlotte

Student tattoo forces school board to review policy

A photo of Harbin's son's tattoo. (Courtesy Belinda Harbin) A photo of Harbin's son's tattoo. (Courtesy Belinda Harbin)
WOODRUFF, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate mother said her son's tattoo has gotten him in trouble at high school, prompting her to raise concerns that the school district's policy might not be fair.

Belinda Harbin told FOX Carolina she allowed her son to get a Bible scripture tattoo on his arm this summer.

"It has been a lot of trouble and aggravation," she said. 

Harbin said the tattoo has caused trouble and aggravation because he's been written up three times at Woodruff High School, where he attends. She said when he wears sleeves you can barely see the tattoo, but sometimes he forgets to cover it up.

She said recently she got angry when she heard a teacher got to wear her tattoos freely.  

"It came to my attention that one of his teachers got three tattoos showing visible in the class every day," Harbin said.   

Harbin said she called Spartanburg School District Four, where Woodruff High School is located, and found out there's a different policy for students and teachers. 

Assistant Superintendent Glen Carson released this statement:

"Both students and teachers are allowed to have tattoos. Because of potential conflict among students created by tattoos that could disrupt the learning environment, students are required to have tattoos covered. Tattoos on teachers should not produce conflict in the classroom. Teachers would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis should there be an identified disruption." 

The student handbook clearly states no visible tattoos are allowed for students. The teacher's policy doesn't speak about tattoos.

But it said teachers can't wear denim pants, men must wear a collared shirt, ladies have to watch their neckline, skirts should cover the knee, no crocs, capris must be at least mid-calf and no printed T-shirts. 

Harbin admits her son should keep it covered, but feels the rules should be the same for everyone at school regarding tattoos.    

The school district administrators said they plan to talk about the policy this week at the principal's meeting to see if some changes need to be made. 

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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