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Can Teachers Have Tattoos and Piercing in New York Or Texas

can teachers have tattoos

Today, many people are drawn to tattoos: they want to look beautiful, so they often get these small or large ornamental images on their bodies.

The question is, can teachers have tattoos? This article will give you some basic information to consider when assessing whether or not teachers can have tattoos. 

Can Teachers Have Tattoos?

The answer is yes and no. It really depends on the school and the state you live in. In some states, like New York, it is entirely up to the school district to allow teachers to have visible tattoos.


There are no rules about tattoos for teachers in other places, like Texas.

And in a few states, like Washington, there are rules banning tattoos for teachers.

States where Teachers are not Allowed to have Tattoos

Here’s a list of the states where teachers can’t have any visible tattoos:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina (piercings only)
  • Ohio (piercings only)
  • Oklahoma (piercings only)

Tattoos Policies in the Following States

1. Indiana

Indiana is where teachers cannot have visible tattoos in the classroom. Some school districts also require teachers to cover up their tattoos or piercings outside the classroom.

Indiana has laws that protect workers from job discrimination based on their appearance. For example, an employer is not allowed to refuse to hire someone solely because he or she has a tattoo. 

This applies whether the tattoo is visible or hidden and whether it is religious, cultural, or decorative.

Employers can therefore not ask about tattoos during interviews or application processes and cannot use them as a reason for hiring, firing, promoting, or demoting someone.

2. New York

In New York State, tattooing is regulated by the Local Health Departments.

Tattoo artists who have completed an approved training program and passed an exam are issued registration certificates by the State Department of Health, proving that they are appropriately trained in infection control procedures.

Tattoo artists can only perform tattooing in licensed tattoo shops. The tattoo shop owner must register his/her establishment with the Local Health Department.

3. Ohio

Ohio also requires that teachers keep their tattoos covered up while in the classroom and during school events. The employee will be responsible for all removal costs.

Tattoos Policies

The employee will also be responsible for all removal costs associated with any subsequent tattoos that become visible to the public.

Tattoos and brands on the head, face, and neck are prohibited from maintaining an appropriate professional image, as determined by the employer.

Employees may cover tattoos/brands using cosmetics or bandages at their own expense during working hours.

4. Georgia

Employees are permitted to have tattoos on their bodies, but only if kept covered while at work. If tattoos cannot be covered, employees may wear long sleeves and long pants to cover them.

In Georgia, it is legal for an employer to enact a policy that forbids specific types of tattoos on employees.

5. Texas

In Texas, a person must be at least 18 years old to receive a tattoo. Minors are required to have parental consent by law. The Texas Department of Health Services oversees the regulation of tattoo establishments. 

There is no statewide licensing requirement for artists, but some cities and counties require individual licenses or registration for artists. All tattoo establishments must comply with local health regulations and carry liability insurance.

Why Do Some Schools Disallow Tattoos for Staff?

  • First, tattoos are permanent. There’s no guarantee that the tattoo of a flower or bird on your shoulder will be relevant to your life five, 10, or 20 years in the future.
  • Second, schools generally want their staff members to present a professional image to students. 
  • Third, teachers have a lot of contact with young children. But there is an expected way they should behave and relate 
  • Fourth, visible tattoos can make it more difficult for teachers to be hired by some employers or promoted within their companies. 
  • Fifth, many people still consider tattoos offensive or even immoral. 

Instances Tattoos are allowed

1. Hidden

When a tattoo is visible, it must meet the following criteria: 

  • It must be good taste and not offensive. 
  • It cannot be extreme in size or color. 
  • It cannot involve obscenity, sexism, or racism.
  • It should not be associated with gangs or hate groups.

2. Not Offensive 

Tattoos on the neck, head, face, tongue, and lips are okay if they are not obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination, or discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. It should carry proper message. 

Allowing of Tattooing

3. Supporting Good Cause

Tattoos can be used for identification, such as ear tattoos on livestock and so-called ‘tramp stamps, which are regarded as a form of self-expression or simply as fashion accessories.

4. For tattoo classes or course

In schools, teachers may permit students to wear their tattoos if it does not interfere with classwork.

Schools should also ensure that their teachers do not allow students to use their tattoos for bullying purposes.

What the Law says about Banning Tattoos in School

The law is clear: Public schools have a right to determine the dress code of their teachers and students. That means that public schools can ban tattoos if they so choose.

Can you be a Teacher with a Tattoo?

No, teaching is a career that is often thought of as a second calling. People leave their established careers to become teachers because they feel called to the profession.

Teachers have the opportunity to change the lives of young people for the better. Teaching is about just standing in front of a classroom and lecturing. Teachers have the opportunity to inspire, motivate and mentor students.

As a teacher, I may run into parents who will not like tattoos, no matter where they are. We are in an era of dress-down days for work and casual dress codes for schools.

In some situations, revealing tattoos can be distracting to students, even if the content of the tattoo is not offensive.

Also, revealing tattoos can create assumptions about the person who has them, making it more difficult for others to respect their authority.