It's been a while since we had a tattoo story here, and in any case, this one raised some interesting issues.
A Virginia mother is outraged after learning her daughter received a tattoo from another student during class at Virginia's Hampton High School.
16-year-old Timisha Deloatch told her mother that she and two other pupils had received tattoos in art class while the teacher watched:
"She closed the door so no administrators would walk past and see, and at one point she took a picture and sent it to her friend."
In fact any parent would be disturbed by the circumstances, particularly since the conditions could hardly have been called sterile.
"He had a packet of sewing needles and a mechanical pencil. He dipped the point in the ink that he had for everybody."
Not a particularly professional job, then - and Timisha, it turns out, was in a position to know: her mother, Lovella Deloatch (Lovella?), had already allowed her to get two tattoos.
Deloatch let Timisha get her grandmother's initials professionally tattooed on her arm and the words "beautiful nightmare" on her lower back.
Just take a moment to consider that one...
Meawhile, the mother seems to have an interestingly hypocritical attitude to the business of tattooing her 16-year-old daughter.
"She might have made a bad judgment call for herself, but she's 16. The adult was supposed to have stepped in and said no," Lovella said.
Of course she's right; if Timisha is to be believed, the teacher has behaved unprofessionally in the extreme. However, the story certainly furnishes food for thought; after all, tattooing is pretty much the only major growth industry in the UK at the moment.
In the town where I live there are now three tattoo parlours and another is proposed. Since a new tattoo practically guarantees column inches, celebrities are rushing to have them done and the public follow suit, generating ever more work for the artists.
Perhaps it's time the school curriculum was broadened to take this into account; it could add a whole new dimension to GCSE art coursework, for example, and would surely increase the chance of school leavers getting a job. They could even do the basic hygiene training in biology class.
There's only one downside to this, as far as I can see, given the current state of educational achievement; the main requirement for the job is always going to be artistic talent but it does help if a tattoo artist has a firm grasp of spelling and punctuation...
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