Man Who Tattooed Entire Body Says Tattoos Cost Him Kindergarten Job
A man who is covered from head to toe in tattoos is determined to pursue his career as a primary school teacher despite losing his kindergarten job over his appearance.
Sylvain Helaine, from France, goes by the name ‘Freaky Hoody’ on social media and has racked up more than 60,000 followers by sharing pictures of his ink-covered body.
The 35-year-old has gone as far as to tattoo his ears, tongue and even the whites of his eyes in the past eight years after kicking off his hobby at the age of 27, when he was teaching at a private school in London and had an ‘existential crisis’.
Tattoos became his ‘passion’, and by continuing his job as a teacher he hoped to show his pupils that they should accept people who are different from the norm.
Speaking to Reuters, Helaine explained, ‘Maybe when they are adults they will be less racist and less homophobic and more open-minded.’
Though he might stand out against other teachers, Helaine has stressed that children are able to see past his appearance once they get to know him. Unfortunately, his appearance cost him his job last year when he inadvertently frightened a student who wasn’t a pupil of his.
Helaine was teaching kindergarten at the Docteur Morere Elementary School in Palaiseau, a suburb of Paris, when the parents of a three-year-old child complained about him to educational authorities. Though their son hadn’t been taught by Helaine, he had seen him around the school and had nightmares about him.
The teacher commented:
All of my students and their parents were always cool with me because basically they knew me.
It’s only when people see me from far away that they can assume the worst.
A couple of months after the complaint was made, the school authorities informed Helaine he would no longer teach kindergarten children.
He said he believed the decision they took ‘was quite sad’, and a spokesman for the local education authority said an agreement was reached with Helaine to move him away from teaching kindergarten as pupils under six ‘could be frightened by his appearance’.
In spite of the setbacks, Helaine continues to teach primary school children aged six and above. Discussing his career choice, he said, ‘I’m a primary school teacher… I love my job.’
In total, Helaine believes he has spent 460 hours under the needle to achieve his unique look.
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CreditsReuters and 1 other