Morning Metro: Updates in Cyclist Death, DHS Teacher Tattoos, and the Greatest Books of All-Time

38 thoughts on “Morning Metro: Updates in Cyclist Death, DHS Teacher Tattoos, and the Greatest Books of All-Time”


  1. Sorry, call me a prude, but as a parent of a DHS student I think it’s a really bad idea for DHS teachers to be showing off their tattoos to a bunch of minors. I have no problem with people getting tattoos as adults, but adults (especially adults with a captive audience like teachers) should not be glamorizing the idea to large numbers of minors, particularly when they have no indication of the desire/ability of those minors to get tattoos underage and/or family values about tattoos.

    It’s sort of like if some of the teachers had beer brewing equipment or a collection of fine tequilas and showed it off for all of the underage kids to see. Even though it’s perfectly legal for the teacher, it’s just a bad idea to be bragging about it to a bunch of kids IMO. I’m pretty disappointed in some of the judgment exhibited here. My guess is that this all started with some senior project on tattoos, right?

        1. The curmudgeonly tease is FM’s way. I’ll weigh in, though, and say that…

          (1) I’m comforted when a parent of a teenager holds the line in the prudish direction. Somebody needs to, and who better than parents of teens?

          (2) Wish I felt confident that DHS offers students as much political and intellectual edginess as the social/cultural edginess reflected in this little article.

          1. Ok, I’ll bite. 1) why must a prudish position be held? is there any value in being a prude? I’ll all for manners and good behavior but tattoos are not drugs or sex. 2) Do you have any evidence to support your wish that the staff isn’t teaching political or intellectual edginess? Perhaps they’re already doing just that.

            1. Seems to me you’re doing the baiting here, not me, but….I’ll bite….

              I did not say or mean to imply that “a prudish position must be held.” I said I like it when the parent of a teenager holds that line. My reasons are several. From where I sit, it sometimes seems the vast majority of parents are so afraid of being considered out of touch that they are hesitant to choose standards and stand by them. So when somebody does and is vocal about it, I like it.Why do I think standards are important? Because kids need to learn how to think for themselves and make their own decisions, and to do that they need some kind of framework, some frame of reference. They can’t experiment with stepping out of bounds unless there is a boundary to start with.

              “I’m all for good manners but tattoos are not drugs or sex.” — I’m not taking a position about tattoos.

              Do I have evidence that DHS isn’t teaching political or intellectual edginess? No, not a whit. I just haven’t seen or heard any evidence that they are.

              1. Standards. That’s where it all gets murky right? My standards or yours? Or Sarahph or FMFats? For example, I teach my kids not to judge based on race, income or sexuality. (Even though they’re far too young to grasp sexuality just yet.) I also think it’s important to not judge someone based on funky colored hair, dreadlocks, tattoos or style of dress. Just as I wouldn’t want my children to judge a lesbian couple. I wouldn’t want them to look down on some washed up hipster with full sleeves. Neither is okay by my standards. I don’t want them to prudes either. Watch Grease. Even Sandy comes to realize that toeing someone else’s line is a bucketful of hogwash. The irony with me is that my kids will probably grow up to be big squares.

                1. There’s a difference between judging someone and simply not liking their taste. Again, I haven’t take a position about tattoos. What I’ve tried to say is that it’s good to offer kids a framework within which to think about stuff. By that I do not necessarily mean absolute, yes-no, right-wrong lines (although those are obviously called for in some contexts). Tattoos are a great example, actually. There is nothing inherently wrong or immoral about them, yet they obviously controversial to the extent that they signal a variety of things to different people, regardless of the owner’s intent. Same is true of hair styles, mode of dress, piercings and other adornments, and pretty much all visual forms of self-expression. Doesn’t mean a person should (or should not) dress or wear their hair or decorate their car a certain way. All it means is they should understand that how they look will affect how people perceive them to a greater or lesser degree depending on the person, and it won’t always be how they expect or intend to be perceived. Everybody is free to choose how they live with that reality. (Tattoos may become totally mainstream some day, but I’ll guarantee you there will be some other type of self-adornment that is not.) Anyhow, I think it’s safe to say that few of us style ourselves as adults the same we did as adolescents, and the permanence of tattoos means that taking a stand on personal freedom might wind up being unwanted baggage 10 or 20 years later.

        2. I was just being the pleasant, obliging chap that I am.
          I’m glad to see the high school addressing the issue. Like it or not, ink has gone way beyond a fad and is now very much an integral part of our culture, particularly among Generation Y and younger. If your child has any interest in it, she’s gonna head to a parlor as soon as she’s legal and has a pocketful of birthday money. Our discussion in our household when my son turned 18 was along the lines of, “make sure it’s very meaningful, and think long and hard before getting one that will be noticeable at a job interview. And have it done at Ink & Dagger where we trust the proprietor”. It worked out fine with him, and I ended up going to see Ink & Dagger at the age of 58. I am an extremely satisfied customer with no buyer’s remorse whatsoever.

    1. I’m kind of with you here. Obviously this was done for and by the high school kids who are right to be curious about this form of self expression. However it leaves me sort of unimpressed with the teachers involved. [edited]

  2. First two comments on the Patch article about the cyclist’s death mention Walmart and the immigration status of the driver of the truck. Sometimes free speech depresses me.

    1. Any comment referencing Walmart seems to have been removed, but it now looks like a full-blown debate about immigration policy might take root over there. I share your reaction and encourage you to do what I do — avoid reading comments on Patch, Yahoo news and the AJC.

      1. You are correct, the Walmart comment appears to have been removed by Patch. It basically said, “See, this is why we don’t need Walmart here, more people will be killed!”. Funny that they would edit that yet allow the illegal immigrant diatribe.

        I generally do avoid reading the comments. Just hoping I don’t have to add DM to that list. After the ridiculousness of the cyclist’s death thread, I’m not so sure.

  3. The above link is how I learned that Paul Taylor was the cyclist that died. I am so shocked and saddned. He was a mentor to me and his loss is profound. I hope that any conversations regarding the circumstances of his death can be civil and respectful.

  4. As a tatted parent of a DHS student I’m okay with the tone here. They were not showing off. They were talking about the tattoos and how important and meaningful they are to them. I like the multiple suggestions to wait and meditate on tattoos before getting them. I spend quite a long time, years sometimes, thinking about my next tattoo because I want it to be meaningful.

    My DHS student wants to get a tattoo as soon as she’s old enough, and I’m glad she can hear from adults she respects (and not just me) that it’s best to wait as long as possible to be sure it’s really what you want.

    Of course, I completely understand and respect the previous posters’ discomfort with this video. It’s definitely out there and I cringed when they actually showed the tattoo from the teacher’s lower back, even though they carefully showed only the tattoo and not the area around it.

  5. Re tattoos: I hate them. Always have, even when I was young and impressionable. Bad associations. Even though some of my best friends have them…… 🙂

    However, I trust 3ten.org supervision and remember from my high school days that even a hint of censorship backfires with high school students. That’s a surefire way to inspire adolescent idealism and get them to adopt whatever behavior you are trying to censor.

    So I can live with an article about tattoos complete with teacher role models modelling something I hate. I find tattoos to be distasteful, not illegal or immoral or risky (well, depends on the tattoo artist but I’ll let that go….) That’s a whole different story from what we allow my children to DO, vs. READ about. No pierced ears until age 12, no permanent hair dye until age 15, no pierced noses until age 18, and no permanent tattoos until age 21 or whenever we stop providing financial support, whichever comes first. We’re more flexible on things that are reversible like temporary hair dye, temporary tattoos, and henna (I think). (And we reserve the right to change the rules based on non-specified conditions that remain to be determined like grades, behavior, finances, and local mores.)

  6. Actually, I’m not freaking about this at all – just mildly annoyed and interested in the philosophical aspects of the whole thing. I’m certainly not about to go marching to the principal’s office. However I do not like tattoos partially b/c they really have the potential to limit a young adult’s future – not kill it… but narrow it significantly. There are certainly very rewarding and lucrative careers that may never get off the ground because of a kid’s ill thought out tattoo.

    I know that, personally, I won’t hire a candidate with a significant, visible tattoo, which means that several of the teachers interviewed here sadly would not have made it past the first interview at my company, even though they seem like very intelligent, effective people. I just won’t make that hiring move b/c there are too many tattoo-free candidates out there. The fact that someone has a noticeable tattoo certainly doesn’t mean they are a bad person, but given 100 other choices where I don’t have to put my neck on the line with my superiors b/c of the person I hire… I’m going to quietly go with the non-tattooed or at least non-visibly tattooed person…. and that is a perfectly legal decision for me to make.

    Next thought…. intellectually, what would the less-prudish-than-me people here think if some of the teachers showed off their home brew systems? Home brewing is legal if you are old enough (much like tattoos). The only difference that I can see is that alcohol can be physically addicting whereas it appears that tattoos can only by psychologically addicting. However, the process of home brewing is certainly much more educational from a scientific standpoint than tattoos – and much more tasty too.

    I’d challenge the DHS kids to see how far this goes by finding a teacher that brews and trying to get them to do an interview and show of their equipment.. maybe bring it to school for a demo. Maybe one of the tattoo teachers is a brewer.

    I also get the premise that if you forbid something, you only encourage many teens to try it. I would never forbid my child to get a tattoo once he/she was of age. I would explain the potential consequences and communicate my disapproval, but the world would go on if they got a tat and I wouldn’t be angry about it or anything.

    DHS and parents make lots other things taboo that aren’t illegal though and it seems to work out OK. Also, I think that the teachers can discuss their tats with students privately as much as they like. As a teacher, I would have drawn the line at showing them off to the underage masses and some of their parents who might be a heck of a lot more prudish than me (we all know they are out there). I guess it’s a judgment call.

    1. Personally, I feel the teachers did more to de-glamorize tattoos than sell them. I made a conscious decision to not get visible tattoos because of the discrimination you speak of…It really kind of annoys me, though. Just as women were once forbidden to wear slacks, children were expected to be seen and not heard and countless societal norms have gone by the wayside, hopefully attitudes such as yours will become extinct. I’d be perfectly fine with my first grader learning the science behind home brewing. When you stop for a moment to think about it, there’s even a science lesson to be learned from tattooing.

    2. I’m glad to see someone else besides me thinks that tattoos are a way bad idea and a possible career killer. I thought maybe I was out of touch. Strangely, a lot of teachers seem to have them these days and not just in CSD. I was in a group of mostly teachers recently and made a negative comment about tattoos and then was chagrined when at least two laughed and showed me their semi-private tattoos.

      I’m ok with reasonable school dress codes–I shudder to think what our kids would look like without them. If it were possible to include tattoos in the dress code, I’d be fine with that too, but you can’t because some students will already have them and tattoos are not removable. Plus can’t tattoos rarely be part of a religious practice?

      It’s censorship that could backfire with teens. But now that I re-read the thread I see that you are questioning the teachers’ judgment rather than that of the teen journalists.

    3. The really funny thing is that like all fads, one day tattoos will be like big hair in the 70s and big shoulder pads in the 80s… everyone will roll their eyes and say, “Remember when that used to be considered cool back in 2012? How embarrassing!” The only problem is that it’s a lot easier, cheaper and less painful to redo your hair than to remove a tattoo. And yep, they do look gawd-awful by the time you are 50.

      1. Yup, there’s nothing worse appearing than a tattoo that was applied when the subject was thin and is now all stretched out in the perverse, unpredictable directions that skin will stretch as people put on weight and/or shift weight and/or change shape with pregnancy. Or conversely, tattoos placed over well-developed muscles that now are all withered and shrunken leaving slack skin and slack tattoo.

  7. re: Tatted Teachers fallout: Did I ever mention how glad I am that I don’t have kids?!?

  8. Please be sure you watch the video before you comment. Like one poster pointed out, the teachers were very quick to de-glamorize the tattoos and encourage those thinking about getting tattoos to think twice. I think 3ten handled the segment very well.

    1. Yeah, 3ten and Carpe Diem are good stuff. We have to keep perspective. Doing investigative reporting on tattoos is a way healthier than a lot of options out there for teens.

        1. Not sure but ITHINK that’s the DHS address as in 310 S. McDonough. Of course, I’m real gullible . Maybe it’s really some occult sacred number or the street number of the address of a popular teen tattoo artist.

            1. Thanks…that makes sense. I’ve seen it with a religious meaning as well, so was confused how it was connected.

  9. They should have interviewed an old, wrinky teacher for tattoo show and tell and also asked them how they like the tattoo after 50 years, and also someone who had a tattoo laser-removed (application vs. removal pain, cost).

    Oh, wait, those are MY questions. And I’m not a high schooler…

    Signed,

    Tattoo commitmentphobe

    1. And maybe somebody who simply doesn’t like their tattoo any more (if tehy could find anybody willing to admit it).

  10. Wrt Paul Taylor, I remain puzzled that on a road with a 35 mph speed limit, that an individual, either a cyclist, or someone ‘kneeling’ can be run over, and as yet not even a citation given to the driver.

    As a driver of a motor vehicle, I would like to think that I would be able to avoid a large object such as a cyclist while traveling at 35 mph.

    Ok, so someone is kneeling in the road. Let’s grant that based on only the driver’s report. I can’t avoid hitting the person? I call BS.

    1. At 6:15 in the morning with very little street lighting? Yep, I can totally see how someone driving 35 mph would not see him. And, if that is the truth of what happened, the driver should NOT be charged. I call BS on your acceptance of many facts not in evidence. A good person died. This is a tragedy. Why are you so intent on compounding this tragedy by vilifying a possibly completely innocent person? This whole thread makes me sick. Please don’t persist in making it worse.

    2. And I call BS on you. Unless you are privy to information that nobody else has about exactly how this tragedy happened, you are simply indulging your own anger and prejudices.

  11. It’s interesting to me that tattoos are allowed by teachers, but my daughter, who got her nose pierced in Europe, was asked to remove her piercing when she attended Refroe. Mr Thomas eventually was nice enough to compromise and let her wear a clear stud. The handbook does say no piercings, the compromise was made after a discussion about our feelings on the double standard of not asking Renfroe teachers to cover their body art.

    1. Way to go for pointing out a double standard. This piqued my interest so I went to the CSD website and read the CSD Code of Conduct which is pretty vague about student appearance, probably appropriately so since it’s covering things like gang activity, misconduct involving weapons, and other serious items that I hope and pray do not happen often in CSD. It’s the school-specific handbook that gets down to the nitty gritty. I highly recommend the Renfroe handbook to any parent looking for reinforcement for their own rules about not letting their children out of their home looking like a tramp or drug addict. My favorite line is “If in doubt about the appropriateness of your dress attire do not wear it to school or to school activities..” And if Renfroe is flexible about waivers for things like body parts already pierced and not easily undone, all the better. Now I’m curious to see the dress code and rules for personal appearance in the Code of Conduct for teachers!

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