Teachers made to hide tattoos, piercings

March 11, 2010 at 12:04 PM

OGDEN, Utah, March 11 (UPI) -- Two high school teachers in Ogden, Utah, say they are being forced by school district officials to hide their tattoos and piercings from their students.

The Ogden City School District officially altered its dress code in January to stop employees from exhibiting visible tattoos and facial piercings while working, The Salt Lake Tribune said.

Mark Johnson, an English teacher at Ogden High School, said while he initially refused to cover up his tattoos, he eventually capitulated in order to protect his job.

"I need to take care of my family for sure," said Johnson, who insists his tattoos reflect a story of his immediate family.

For Ogden High School special education teacher Halie Vaughan, removing the gold heart piercing from her nose was also about keeping her job.

"I'm trying to show my kids, even though I don't agree with this, I am complying because that's what we need to do in a society," she told the Tribune.

School district spokeswoman Donna Corby said the dress code changes are intended to have teachers provide appropriate images for students.

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