Full Coverage: Links From All Over (Oct. 20, 2008)

[Joplin Globe] It’s pretty often that we stumble across stories of backwards school boards that have decided students with tattoos and piercings are an affront to the education system and do not even deserve access to the same crippled-by-No-Child-Left-Behind embarrassment programs as all the others, and who cares right? What have stupid kids ever offered society other than scabies and juvenile diabetes? Well, the mavericks on the Joplin R-8 Board of Education in Missouri have turned their discerning eyeballs on the swill merchants who are pushing these ideas of “body” “art” on the little scamps: teachers!

Joplin R-8 Board of Education members Tuesday night gave administrators the OK to change wording in the district’s employment policy to not allow any part of a tattoo to show.

The policy previously instructed teachers to wear clothing that “minimizes” tattoos, but it did not prohibit part or all of the tattoo from showing.

The board also wants to make that policy apply to all district employees, not just teachers.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said he brought the issue to the board because someone had raised concerns about teachers with tattoos. The board members appeared to be in unanimous agreement about tattoos not being appropriate in a professional and, specifically, a classroom setting.

[...] Joplin resident Maurice Filson encouraged the board to adopt a policy that requires teachers to cover their tattoos. He said refusing to do so would be a statement that might speak louder than the body art itself.

“You already know the problems our children are facing, so for the sake of our kids, I hope this can be properly addressed,” Filson said.

Do those problems include low test scores and problems focusing in class? Because I have a feeling that even if the subject matter of these classes isn’t engaging the little ragamuffins, then maybe more interesting individuals at the helm could be of some help. But as I’ve said before, it’s hard to argue with an employer that seeks to enforce a dress code, so … keep up the work, Joplin Board of Education. You are doing a job.

[Greensburg Daily News] So what with it being election season and all, does anybody know when we cast our ballots for mother of the year? Because, even though it’s only October, I have a feeling it’s going to be tough to beat Indiana’s proudest daughter, Jessica Middleton of St. Paul, who had herself a pretty spectacular twenty-second birthday:

According to Greensburg Police Chief Brian Heaton, Jessica L. Middleton, 22, was arrested early Saturday morning on charges of neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony. Heaton said at 10:26 p.m. Friday, the department received a call of a 2-year-old in a car unattended in the city parking lot just off the downtown square. Due to a high call volume taxing the on-duty officers he had at the time, Officer Mike McNealy didn’t arrive immediately. When he did, he found a child being cared for by some friendly passers-by.

[...] Heaton said they may not have found Middleton without thew help of a 16-year-old male who said he was friends with the mother. He told officers Middleton, who turned 22 on Oct. 15, went to Somers’ Ink, a new tattoo parlor downtown, for a tattoo at around 9:30 p.m. Afterwards, Heaton said the teenager informed officers she went to the Tiki Bar for a birthday drink. He identified Middleton to officers, who allowed him access to the bar for the purpose of making their arrest.

Booze and tattoos? Sounds like a pretty sweet birthday to me! Other than the whole borderline-infanticide thing, which really sounds like it was being blown out of proportion. When asked for a comment, Middleton told reporters that she used to babysit herself in the car all the time, eating cigarette butts and strangling herself with the seatbelt, and she turned out pretty well, didn’t she? Middleton then fell down, soiled herself and a rabid coyote ran over and licked her fresh tattoo, thus capping the greatest birthday she or anyone else has ever had.

[YouTube] No snark here, friends: The video that follows is of a ballet performed by a pair of amputees, one male and one female, and it’s about as beautiful as anything you’ll find on these here Internets:

26 thoughts on “Full Coverage: Links From All Over (Oct. 20, 2008)

  1. Beautiful ballet…

    And…what the hell…if ANYTHING, the teacher’s FACE distracted me more than a tattoo during middle/high school.

  2. Well, I had to go leave my 2 cents on that website. I hate it when school boards waste their time on superficial crap like that – why can’t we focus on things that really matter? Telling kids that you have to look a certain way to be accepted is NOT a good thing.

  3. Dance Major here: Thats not technically ballet, but Modern. Regardless, it doesnt matter and its a beautiful dance with beautiful people.

    School boards are such shit. I went to a private school and they deemed my nose stud to be a huge god damn distraction to everyone else. Really now? If you think so. I’d rather have an awesome teacher with visible mods than some washed up dipshit without them. Schools need to get their priorities straight.

  4. Thank you so much for that beautiful dance video… I’m thrilled at the fact that those two beautiful people are still enjoying dance even without those limbs (which I’m assuming were lost in a tragic accident and that they were dancers before it happened?). Videos like this should remind every one of us to live life to the full, whatever lot we get. I suffer chronic pain and struggle to walk without a cane to support me… If these people are still dancing, then what am I whining about?

    Beautiful beautiful video. Thank you.

  5. You know when you stub your toe really badly and it goes a bit numb? Well I have that with my brain after reading the first article. I think the comment about tattoos not being appropriate in a professional setting probably killed a few of my brain cells.

    The video on the other hand was beautiful. I agree with Abigail: thanks so much for posting it Jordan :)

  6. Amputee interpretive dance! I don’t know if the performers get scores, but if they do, I hope they got the top frikken score!

  7. As an expert dancer ( In ballet, soft/ point, modern, tap, jazz, swing, argentina tango, irish, african, ect.) i found the video lacking.
    Overall- i was not as impressed as everyone else.
    Good for them for doing what they love.
    But I would be excited to see more emphasis on rhythm, shape, and movement rather then on their repetition of tricks.

  8. damn..
    This is the first time I’ve EVER cryed about ANYTHING I’ve seen on youtube…
    That’s so amazingly beautiful, don’t care what anyone says…
    Maybe not a display of mastering the art of dance but a beautiful piece nontheless…


  9. SO does this mean I can raise a big stink about that one teacher that ALWAYS had red lipstick on her teeth??? Because to be frank… THAT was freakin distracting if anything…
    I LOVED the video… end of story. If it made one person feel something? They did their job as dancers….

  10. I agree with Sara, the video was good. As a dance performance, it was technically lacking. I still found it an amazing piece of movement expressionism, but with all the ‘tricks’ it felt to me a little more like an acrobatics display.

    As for teachers, I believe that there is a line where tattoos can become distracting. That being said, if someone had traditional Maori or pacific island facial tattoos, I think that would be fine. It’s pinup girls tattooed on necks or the word “Freakshow” tattooed on the side of your head that takes it a little too far in a teaching environment.

    I taught at a summer camp where tattoos were apparently off limits, but found that it was a year to year decision. The year I went saw a few counsellors with visible butterflies, one had the word ‘HOPE’ down his leg, and there was a Leonardo’s “Vitruvian Man” backpiece, along with, I assume, others that weren’t visible (like mine). Whatever the case, the powers that be didn’t feel inclined to enforce the tattoos issue that year, though I know they had before and have since, probably as the severity of the tattoos dictated.


    I apologise for the lack of proofreading and possibly coherency. It’s 0102 AusEST.

  11. As a trainee teacher myself, all be it in the UK, I don’t have any tattoos but I do have a few piercings, I have already decided that I will take out any piercings if it means the difference between getting a job or not. There are a few people on my course with tattoos on their wrists but these are easily covered by sleeves and I know they would do that if their job relied on it. Saying that, I have seen several scool-staff handbooks and don’t recall seeing anything about mods

  12. that is definitely one of THE most BEAUTIFUL things I have ever seen.
    … absolutely gorgeous.

  13. What? Like kids don’t see more tattoos being out in public than they might in school? Gee, guess I better start covering up…


  14. That is a beautiful, amazing video, thank you for posting it! May all people be able to find that kind of connection with another!

    From what I know of some of my acquaintances going to University in Joplin, it is a pretty conservative town, so much so that I was not interested in joining them three years ago, instead went to Northern California. My heavily tattooed cousin (Hi FWB!) went there for a semester, and I’m pretty sure he got the evil eye more than a time or two, sad but true. It is only surprising that they have not already placed such a decision several years ago, but then it might not have been challenged until now. Too bad I’m not there to challenge it too! That being said, I’m glad the Joplin school system has no issues with finding good qualified individuals to work, because so many other school systems are facing that as we speak.

  15. I live in Joplin, where teachers have been banned from having visible tattoos. I have no idea where the proposal even came from. This is a very small town and there was no news of anyone being offended by a person’s tattoos, or some tattooed person doing something bad to a student. I’d like to know who woke up one day and decided tattoos shouldn’t be in classrooms.

    As someone who has worked in a local shop for the past five years, and is considered heavily tattooed for this area, I’m pissed off. I can’t think of one teacher who had enough of an influence on my life that made me think, “Gosh, I want to be just like Mrs./Mr. So-and-so….” The shop I worked in was the nicest in the Joplin, and that is not a biased statement. We did not allow the plethora of drunks and tweakers to comein and harrass our customers for money and cigarettes, nor did we ever allow work to be done on someone not of sound mind, unlike other shops. We got soccer moms, dads who coached little league, and LOTS of highschool and college kids. I dont understand what is distracting about tattoos when I can almost gaurantee that at least one person in a given family has at least one tattoo. The only way these tattoos could be distracting is if teachers and kids start sharing stories about them instead of teaching and learning or there’s nudity, which I don’t think should be visible in school anyway. Besides, I’m sure more of the students have tattoos than the teachers. The only people who care whether or not teachers have visible tattoos are judgemental, hypocritical, Bible-thumping Christians who push their religious view points on everyone else. Most of these people don’t even have kids in school, and the kids they do have are the soccer moms and coach dads that we tattooed their designs on their backs and feet so their parents won’t see it. We actually had people in their 30′s getting their first tattoo and were still afraid of what their parents would think or do.

    More than 75% of the tattoos we did in the shop (Electric Art) had some form of Christian symbology in it, like crosses, verses, angels, doves, etc. I only bring religion into it because we are literally smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt, and Mr. Filson felt the need to quote Leviticus. Now, I am not anti-Christian. I just wasn’t raised in a religious home, and I’m not too hip on the traditional Christian art. But I have never asked anyone with a visible religious tattoo to cover it up because I don’t like the way it looks, or because its offensive, Besides, the Bible has verses that imply sanctioned tattooing, before and after Leviticus. I did a speech on the 18th of this month on the history or tattooing and it was mentioned in some of my research material, so I went through the Bible, double checked it and sent them off in a letter to the editor in response to Mr. Filson’s original letter. Nobody has replied to disagree yet.

    Anyway, I don’t know what statement will be made by allowing visible tattoos. I do know that by banning them the schoolboard is saying that they are closedminded and can’t separate church and state. I don’t care what a person has on their skin as long as it isn’t contagious. If a teacher gets kidsexcited about going to school and learning, who cares if they have a tattoo? The school system obviously cares more about teachers’ appearances than their competance. If the R-8 district isn’t careful, they won’t have any teachers in 10 years.


  16. thank you so so much for posting that video, it really made my night.

    also, as a new teacher down in the rather conservative VA, I’m rather sad to hear that people are having to hide their tattoos. One of my favorite things is to tell the kids the story behind my tattoo, it always seems to entertain them and make them feel closer to me.
    I’m even thinking of letting some of my more artistic students design my next tat <3

  17. What does juvenile diabetes have to do with kids being stupid? That’s a very serious disease that no one can purposely make themselves have. Maybe if they were really fat and had type 2 diabetes…

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