Friday, October 17, 2008

"And It's Not a Good Stigma."

I was just running around the internet and happened upon this story from Joplin, MO. The story, itself doesn't really bother me one way or the other. The school board there, apparently doesn't think teachers should be showing their tattoos off to students. I'm old enough that my knee-jerk reaction to tattoos is that they only belong to sailors, bikers and prisoners. (If you're offended by this, please remember that a.) I'm old, b.) I considered getting a tattoo 30 years ago, and c.) I feel sorry for all the dermatologists who will be working in 2060. Sorry, but your 80 year old tattoos are gonna be kinda ugly.)

Anyway, I have no opinion on whether or not students will be hopelessly damaged by seeing a teacher's tattoo. You never know what will or will not make an 8-year-old into a nascent axe murderer...could be peanuts, maybe overexposure to Barney, maybe tattoos.

What does get my knickers in a twist is a School Board Member who doesn't have a vocabulary. In the middle of the story, I was stopped cold by,

Board member Jeff Flowers said the issue comes down to what is acceptable within the community.

“There’s a stigma associated with (tattoos), and it’s not a good stigma,” Flowers said.

I'm sorry, but good stigma?

stig·ma (stgm)
n. pl. stig·ma·ta (stg-mät, -mt, stgm-) or stig·mas
1. A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach.
2. A small mark; a scar or birthmark.
3. Medicine A mark or characteristic indicative of a history of a disease or abnormality.
4. Psychology A mark or spot on the skin that bleeds as a symptom of hysteria.
5. stigmata Bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain corresponding in location to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, usually occurring during states of religious ecstasy or hysteria.
6. Biology A small mark, spot, or pore, such as the respiratory spiracle of an insect or an eyespot in certain algae.
7. Botany The receptive apex of the pistil of a flower, on which pollen is deposited at pollination.
8. Archaic A mark burned into the skin of a criminal or slave; a brand.

Sorry, I can't find the good one.


Steve Buchheit said...

Okay, thanks for the levity. I just... it just... well... words fail.

Yeah, because, you know, kids are going to say, "Hey, teach has one, I'm gonna get inked up."

I can understand that some tatts shouldn't be shown to kids, or that if someone has a political statement tattooed, just like wearing t-shirts, you can regulate that. But do we really need to amend equal opportunity laws to include tattoos?

Michael Taylor said...

Seems to me that this school board has it all wrong -- they should be encouraging teachers to get those highly visible tats. Once the kids see someone as terminally uncool as their teacher wearing a tattoo, perhaps the lure of having ink semi-permanently embedded in their own epidermis will fade away.

Unlike those tattoos...

Hall Monitor said...

This story made! Check it out for all the crazy headlines from our schools.