Readers back Hartlepool school’s stance over tattooed teaching assistant

'UNSUITABLE': Charlotte Tumilty, who was sent home from a teaching placement at St John Vianny School.
'UNSUITABLE': Charlotte Tumilty, who was sent home from a teaching placement at St John Vianny School.

MAIL readers have sided with a primary school after a would-be teaching assistant was sent home from a placement because of her tattoos.

Yesterday we reported how Charlotte Tumilty claimed she had been sent home from a teaching assistant placement at St John Vianney’s Primary School after a staff member said her tattoos were “inappropriate”.

The 26-year-old mum-of-two, from Bruntoft Avenue, West View, claimed she was being “prejudiced” against because of her tattoos.

But bosses at the school insisted that Charlotte was not told she could not work in the school, but that she was asked to consider covering up her tattoos and return to her placement later this week.

And 79 per cent of Mail readers who took part in the online poll voted ‘yes’ to the question: ‘Should teaching staff have to cover up tattoos in the classroom?’

Our story on Charlotte story provoked plenty of reaction on our website, Twitter account and Facebook pages and was also picked up by the national media.

On our Facebook page, Helen Adams wrote: “I believe the law states that the amount of tattoos is different depending on the place of work and may need to have them covered up.

“I believe that’s not saying don’t have them, I’m saying cover up when you are at work. If you love the job you will cover up. Where do you draw the line - face tattoos and piercings etc?”

Angela Scott said: “Tattoos have been the ‘in’ thing for years now. People need to get a grip and move with the times instead of living in a time warp!”

Natalie Newnes said: “I’m not against tattoos, as I have them, but mine are easily hidden. If that’s the school policy, then so be it.

“If people choose to have tattoos in the places this girl has them, then surely they would know it doesn’t look professional and would expect criticism.

“Like I say. I’m not against tattoos, but people really need to think about their career before a tattoo.

“Mine are tiny compared to these and I have been told to cover mine up - you just have to. What’s more important, a tattoo or a job?!”

Antony Baker said: “Students have rules and staff should set the highest of standards as role models.”

But Luke Bell said: “It shouldn’t make no difference.”

And Chris Saint Ridiculous wrote: “Having tattoos or piercings do not make you a bad person. Some of the nicest people I have met are covered in body art.

“Let’s face it, there’s probably more people with tattoos than without nowadays.”

On the Mail website, ammonia6 wrote: “If you want a public job make sure you follow the rules & comply at ALL times. She complaineth TOO much.”

The ReturnofMrMr added: “I hate tattoos, think they look stupid, I think the school did exactly what was best in the situation.

“This woman is entitled to all the tattoos and piercings she likes, just simply not on show from 9am-3.15pm in the school grounds.

“Seems fair enough to me.”

Meanwhile, @dawn_hewitson tweeted our @HpoolMail Twitter account to say: “A scarf and a few elastoplasts would have covered the tattoos.”

And @HpoolCreatives said: “Think before you ink.”