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TALKBACK: Concern over student tattoos

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

TALKBACK: Concern over student tattoos

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SOME CHILDREN as young as 14 years old are getting tattoos and body piercings without the knowledge of parents and hiding them with bandages.

The Barbados Association of Guidance Counsellors and the National Parent-Teacher Association are asking parents to be more vigilant about their children’s dress and conduct at school.

Piercings and tattoos are against school rules but the schools face challenges from parents who see nothing wrong with the issue when the time comes to discipline those involved.

Not surprisingly, there were online readers both for and against the issue. Some in the medical professional also warned about the transmission of Hepatitis C from the practice and called for greater law enforcement regarding minors.

Cynthia Taitt: When I read what can only be described as horrifying incidents of abuse, I can’t help but get the feeling that Barbados is continuing to lose its way. Tattooing and piercing a child below the age of consent is abuse. Here in the United Kingdom it is illegal (for under-18s) and the individual responsible for carrying out the tattoo and piercing would be prosecuted, and looking at spending some time in prison.

Erasmus Black: Is there a handbook with a copy in the principal’s office that says “Code of Conduct” on its front cover, that the parent and child had to sign off on at the start of the term? No? Well, get one. It lists crimes, offences, infractions and so on that the institution does not tolerate. In one column these infractions would be listed, with the penalties in the next. Voila!!! Get back to scholarly works and reinstitute some strict discipline back into our schools.

Diane Quinn: A child must be a child. There are rules and no child should have tattoos. I don’t care what the teachers have; they are adults. When you finish school you could put them wherever you choose to. But just note some companies won’t hire you if you have tattoos exposed.

Karen Browne: Tattoos, as well as piercings, are services that shouldn’t be provided to minors without written consent from a parent. There are potential health implications in receiving any treatment that involves the blood stream.

Peter Buckley: Once again, people making mountains out of relatively trivial matters so they have an excuse to ignore the real problems that they know they have no ability to deal with.

Andrew E. Pilgrim: Tattoo artists can and need charging. The age to consent to an assault in Barbados is 18. Not even a medical practitioner can examine a child under 18 years without the consent of a parent. Tattoos can be dangerous and should only be acquired by an adult who is prepared to take that calculated risk.

Mariam Makeba: Now tell me, just tell me, how a child living under my roof, going to school, sporting tattoos and multiple piercings and I don’t know?

Shoni Boyce: Yah don’t put bumper stickers on a Mercedes!!! Too young to make such a permanent decision.

Gloria Wiggins: Huh? I hope it’s more worrying than the bullying/fights, the deviant behaviour and child abuse. All ya should be worrying that no parent of any child that is being bullied or beaten don’t come and open war at the schools like in the good old USA.

• Sherrylyn Toppin is The Nation’s Online Editor.