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Teacher Moved From Kindergarten Role After Parent Complains About His Tattoos

Teacher Moved From Kindergarten Role After Parent Complains About His Tattoos

Sylvain Helaine is covered from head to toe in ink

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

A teacher says he was moved from his job in a kindergarten class after a parent complained about his tattoos.

Sylvain Helaine, from France, is covered from head to toe - including his eyes and tongue - in ink, and says a parent claimed their child was scared of him.

The 35-year-old was not sacked from the school, but instead moved to another class, and now teaches children from the age of six and above.

Last year, Sylvain said he was working as a kindergarten teacher at Docteur Morere Elementary School in Palaiseau, Paris, when the complaint was made by the parent - whose child who was not taught by him.

Two months later, he was told by the local school authorities that he would not be teaching the youngsters anymore.

Sylvain, who is a model and performer and often goes by the name 'Freaky Hoody', told BFMTV: "The Inspection Académique no longer wanted me to go work in kindergarten to avoid receiving letters of complaint.

"They [Inspection Académique] didn't want to rock the boat, and wanted to avoid parents from complaining about my appearance."

Sylvain was moved from his kindergarten class because of his tattoos.

He went on: "My appearance is not an obstacle on a daily basis, because I think I am a good teacher and do my best at my job and progress from year to year.

"It is a problem for some people, but rarely, it is one parent in 1,000, and they are parents of children that I do not have in class."

Adding: "With the parents of the children I have in class, everything is going well. With the children too, once the surprise is over, we work well and they think I'm the coolest."

Some of the children at the school where Sylvain works were interviewed by the news site.

One of the older pupils said of Sylvain: "The bottom of his tattooed eyes, that scared me at first, but my parents encouraged me not to be afraid anymore.

"Now I'm not afraid, he's even almost my favourite teacher.

"He's a nicer teacher than I actually thought."

The teacher lamented the decision to move him to another class, telling Reuters: "I think the decision they took was quite sad."

A spokesperson for the local authorities told the agency an agreement had been reached with Sylvain for him to move up to an older class, as there was the risk that pupils under the age of six 'could be frightened by his appearance'.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Viral, France