A tattoo-covered kindergarten teacher in France who has spent nearly 500 hours under the needle was banned from teaching children under the age of six after a parent complained that he was giving their child nightmares.
Sylvain Helaine, now 35, began covering his entire body in tattoos after undergoing an “existential crisis” as a 27-year-old while working for a private school in London, according to Reuters. Not only has he covered his entire face and tongue with ink, but he even surgically changed the whites of his eyes to look black.
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Last year, while teaching kindergarten at the Docteur Morere Elementary School in the Palaiseau, a suburb of Paris, the parents of a three-year-old student, however, complained to officials, the outlet reported. Although their son was not taught by Helaine, they claimed that their son had nightmares after seeing him.
Helaine was later told that he would no longer teach in kindergarten. A spokesman noted that students under the age of six “according to Reuters could be afraid of his appearance.
Helaine became discouraged by the movement of officials.
“I think the decision they made was pretty sad,” he said.
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However, Helaine is still able to teach children ages 6 and up.
Although it is his “passion” to get tattoos, he said he wants to stick to his career as an elementary school teacher
“I love my job,” he said.
Eventually, after an initial shock, he says his student is able to look past his outward appearance.
“All my students and their parents were always cool with me because they pretty much knew me,” he said.
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It is his hope that he can use this experience as a learning lesson for his students to accept people who are different.
“Maybe when they are adults, they will be less racist and less homophobic and more open-minded,” he said.
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