Not Just Ink

Kendra Werth, Staff Writer

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Being a Catholic I am told not to tattoo my body, yet there are many Catholics that have tattooed their skin. Not many people know because we are told to hide them from being too distracting, but I am one of those people along with a couple other students at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School that have tattoos. We are taught to not mark or harm our bodies, for they are a temple. Yet, I do not see my tattoos as disrespectful to myself or anyone else, not even the church.

My tattoos are so much more than a simple drawing. There is meaning behind each tattoo that I have chosen to put on me. As a little girl who grew up with two brothers to a teenager with no brothers you could see there was hardship in my life. Two of my tattoos signify my loved ones who I have lost. My other tattoo, that my mother has also, shows my close relationship with family and the people who love me. When people tell me tattoos are shameful and ask me how they will look like when I get older I just shrug them off because if they don’t know what I have been through then they would not understand. I did not go through a little pain to put an inappropriate image on me. I went through the pain for a bible verse, a cross with a compass on it, doves, and dates that are important in my life.

Thomas More Prep- Marian school shares that these actions are not to be seen and should be hidden under uniform. I hid my first tattoo under my uniform sophomore year, and each year I have added another one to hide from everyone. The stand TMP takes against this issue is that it can be a distraction shown off at school events.

Second year Principal Chad Meitner does not appear to have any problems with student tattoos as long as the tattoo is hidden during the school day and at school events.

“In regards to tattoos. The first threshold is visibility. If it is not visible while wearing a sports or school uniform then we are not going to have any input on it,” said Meitner, “However, if a normally non-visible tattoo is being shown off at school or school related events then it becomes a distraction and will warrant and receive some disciplinary action.”

Most people judge others for having tattoos which is hurtful to us who have them. If one dislikes tattoos, they should hate the sin but still love the sinner. I am not a bad person for expressing my life in this manner. Therefore should not be shamed by outside people.  Don’t be afraid to express who you are, but respect the rules.

In the words of Mr. Meitner, “If a student has a calling to a tattoo, he/she should probably wait to get it after graduation.”