Student expelled for Tupac tattoo

Filed under: Teens, Day Care & Education

Despite pleading with school officials to let him go to school, a 17 year old student at an Auckland, New Zealand Catholic school was expelled because of his tattoo. The tattoo in question is a black and white image of slain rapper Tupac Shakur and covers the boy's left arm from wrist to elbow. The school ruled that it "did not fit in with the Marist school values" and rejected his offer to wear long sleeve shirts to cover it up.

Zavier Bygrave, a six year student at the school, said he wanted the tattoo because he felt "connected" to the dead musician's lyrics because "his parents were not together either." Zavier's own parents split up last year and his mother gave him the $300 tattoo as a Christmas gift.

Zavier and his mother claim they were unaware that school has banned tattoos that are not for cultural, religious, or health reasons (health reasons?). They also claim that at least 20 other students at the school have tattoos.

Jim Dale, the school's principle, says the tattoo is "highly inappropriate" and if other students are found to have tattoos, they will be expelled as well.

"He's a good boy," his mother says. "He's not in a gang, he doesn't smoke weed and doesn't drive fast cars. He's no problem. He's a good kid. And he actually wants to go to school."

Unless there is something we aren't being told about this student and his tattoo, the school's decision seems rather harsh and extremely unfair. How can a tattoo under a boy's sleeve be harmful to anyone?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.